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Notes 169 

Appendix 173 


Notes 257 



"  Dux  inquieti  turbidus  Adriae." 



The  conspiracy  of  the  Doge  Marino  Faliero 
is  one  of  the  most  remarkable  events  in  the 
annals  of  the  most  singular  government,  city, 
and  people  of  modern  history.  It  occurred  in 
the  year  1355.  Every  thing  about  Venice  is, 
or  was,  extraordinary — her  aspect  is  like  a 
dream,  and  her  history  is  like  a  romance.  The 
story  of  this  Doge  is  to  be  found  in  all  her 
Chronicles,  and  particularly  detailed  in  the 
"  Lives  of  the  Doges,"  by  Marin  Sanuto, 
which  is  given  in  the  Appendix.  It  is  simply 
and  clearly  related,  and  is  perhaps  more  dra- 
matic in  itself  than  any  scenes  which  can  be 
founded  upon  the  subject. 

Marino  Faliero  appears  to  have  been  a  man 
of  talents  and  of  courage.  I  find  him  com- 
mander in  chief  of  the  land  forces  at  the  siege 
of  Zara,  where  he  beat  the  King  of  Hungary 



and  his  army  of  80,000  men,  killing  8000  men, 
and  keeping  the  besieged  at  the  same  time  in 
check,  an  exploit  to  which  I  know  none  similar 
in  history,  except  that  of  Caesar  at  Alesia,  and 
of  Prince  Eugene  at  Belgrade.  He  was  after- 
wards commander  of  the  fleet  in  the  same  war. 
He  took  Capo  d'Istria.  He  was  ambassador  at 
Genoa  and  Rome,  at  which  last  he  received 
the  news  of  his  election  to  the  Dukedom  ;  his 
absence  being  a  proof  that  he  sought  it  by  no 
intrigue,  since  he  was  apprized  of  his  predeces- 
sor's death  and  his  own  succession  at  the  same 
moment.  But  lie  appears  to  have  been  of  an 
ungovernable  temper.  A  story  is  told  by  Sa- 
nuto,  of  his  having,  many  years  before,  when 
podesta  and  captain  at  Treviso,  boxed  the  ears 
of  the  bishop,  who  was  somewhat  tardy  in 
brin^ino:  the  Host.  For  this  honest  Sanuto 
*'  saddles  him  with  a  judgment,"  as  Thwackum 
did  Square ;  but  he  does  not  tell  us  whether 
he  w^as  punished  or  rebuked  by  the  Senate  for 
this  outrage  at  the  time  of  its  commission.  He 
seems,  indeed,  to  have  been  afterwards  at  peace 
with  the  church,  for  we  find  him  ambassador  at 
Rome,  and  invested  with  the  fief  of  Val  di 
Marino,  in  the  march  of  Treviso,  and  with  the 
title  of  Count,  by  Lorenzo  Count-Bishop  of 
Ceneda.     For  these  facts   niv  authorities  are, 


Sanuto,  Vettor  Sandi,  Andrea  Navagero,  and 
the  account  of  the  siege  of  Zara,  first  published 
by  the  indefatigable  Abbate  Morelli,  in  his 
"  Monumenti  Veneziani  di  varia  letteratura," 
printed  in  1796,  all  of  which  I  have  looked 
over  in  the  original  language.  The  moderns, 
Daru,  Sismondi,  and  Laugier,  nearly  agree  with 
the  ancient  chroniclers.  Sismondi  attributes 
the  conspiracy  to  \\i^  jealousy ;  but  I  find  this 
nowhere  asserted  by  the  national  historians. 
Vettor  Sandi,  indeed,  says,  that  *'  Altri  scris 

sero  die dalla  gelosa  suspizion  di  esso 

Doge  siasi  fatto  (Michel  Steno)  staccar  con 
violenza,"  &c.  &c. ;  but  this  appears  to  have 
been  by  no  means  the  general  opinion,  nor  is 
it  alluded  to  by  Sanuto  or  by  Navagero,  and 
Sandi  himself  adds  a  moment  after,  that  "  per 
altre  Veneziane  memorie  traspiri,  che  non  il 
solo  desiderio  di  vendetta  lo  dispose  alia  con- 
giura  ma  anche  la  innata  abituale  ambizion  sua, 
per  cui  anelava  a  farsi  principe  independente." 
The  first  motive  appears  to  have  been  excited 
by  the  gross  affront  of  the  words  written  by 
Michel  Steno  on  the  ducal  chair,  and  by  the 
light  and  inadequate  sentence  of  the  Forty  on 
the  offender,  who  was  one  of  their  "  tre  Capi.'* 
The  attentions  of  Steno  himself  appear  to  have 
been  directed  towards  one  of  her  damsels,  and 

xii  PREFACE. 

not  to  the  "  Dogaressa"  herself,  against  whose 
fame  not  the  sHghtest  insinuation  appears,  while 
she  is  praised  for  her  beauty,  and  remarked 
for  her  youth.  Neither  do  I  find  it  asserted 
(unless  the  hint  of  Sandi  be  an  assertion)  that 
the  Doge  was  actuated  by  jealousy  of  his  wife ; 
but  rather  by  respect  for  her,  and  for  his  own 
honour,  warranted  by  his  past  services  and  pre- 
sent dignity. 

'^0  I  know  not  that  the  historical  facts  are 
alluded  to  in  English,  unless  by  Dr.  Moore  in 
his  View  of  Italy.  His  account  is  false  and 
flippant,  full  of  stale  jests  about  old  men  and 
young  wives,  and  wondering  at  so  great  an 
effect  from  so  slight  a  cause.  How  so  acute 
and  severe  an  observer  of  mankind  as  the 
author  of  Zeluco  could  wonder  at  this  is  in- 
conceivable. He  knew  that  a  basin  of  water 
spilt  on  Mrs.  Masham's  gown  deprived  the 
Duke  of  Marlborough  of  his  command,  and 
led  to  the  inglorious  peace  of  Utrecht — that 
Louis  XIV.  was  plunged  into  the  most  deso- 
lating w^ars  because  his  minister  was  nettled  at 
his  finding  fault  with  a  window,  and  wished  to 
give  him  another  occupation — that  Helen  lost 
Troy — that  Lucretia  expelled  the  Tarquins 
from  Rome — and  that  Cava  brought  the  Moors 


to  Spain — ^that  an  insulted  husband  led  the 
Gauls  to  Clusium,  and  thence  to  Rome — that 
a  single  verse  of  Frederick  II.  of  Prussia  on 
the  Abb6  de  Bernis,  and  a  jest  on  Madame  de 
Pompadour,  led  to  the  battle  of  Rosbach — that 
the  elopement  of  Dearbhorgil  with  Mac  Mur- 
chad  conducted  the  English  to  the  slavery  of 
Ireland — that  a  personal  pique  between  Maria 
Antoinette  and  the  Duke  of  Orleans  precipi- 
tated the  first  expulsion  of  the  Bourbons — and, 
not  to  multiply  instances,  that  Commodus,  Do- 
mitian,  and  Caligula  fell  victims  not  to  their 
public  tyranny,  but  to  private  vengeance — and 
that  an  order  to  make  Cromwell  disembark 
from  the  ship  in  which  he  would  have  sailed  to 
America  destroyed  both  king  and  common- 
wealth. After  these  instances,  on  the  least  re- 
flection, it  is  indeed  extraordinary  in  Dr.  Moore 
to  seem  surprised  that  a  man,  used  to  command, 
who  had  served  and  swayed  in  the  most  im- 
portant offices,  should  fiercely  resent  in  a  fierce 
age  an  unpunished  affront,  the  grossest  that  can 
be  offered  to  a  man,  be  he  prince  or  peasant. 
The  age  of  Faliero  is  little  to  the  purpose,  unless 
to  favour  it. 

"  The  young  man's  wrath  is  like  straw  on  fire, 
"  But  like  red  hot  steel  is  the  old  man's  ire.*' 


"  Young  men  soon  give  and  soon  forget  affronts, 
*'  Old  age  is  slow  at  both." 

Laugier's  reflections  are  more  philosophical : 
• — "  Tale  fh  il  fine  ignominioso  di  un'  uomo, 
che  la  sua  nascit^,  la  sua  eta,  il  suo  carattere 
dovevano  tener  lontano  dalle  passioni  produt- 
trici  di  grandi  delitti.  I  suoi  talenti  per  lungo 
tempo  esercitati  ne'  maggiori  impieghi,  la  sua 
capacita  sperimentata  ne'  govern!  e  nelle  am- 
basciate,  gli  avevano  acquistato  la  stima  e  la 
fiducia  de'  cittadini,  ed  avevano  uniti  i  suffragj 
per  collocarlo  alia  testa  della  republica.  In- 
nalzato  ad  un  grado  che  terminava  gloriosa- 
menta  la  sua  vita,  il  risentimento  di  un'  in- 
giuria  leggiera  insinuo  nel  suo  cuore  tal  veleno 
che  basto  a  corrompere  le  antiche  sue  qualita, 
e  a  condurlo  al  termine  dei  scellerati ;  serio 
esempio,  che  prova  non  esservi  etd,  in  cui  la 
prudenza  umana  sia  sicura^  e  che  ntlV  uomo 
restano  sempre  passioni  capaci  a  disonorarlo, 
quando  non  invigili  sopra  se  stesso," — Laugier, 
Italian  translation^  vol.  iv.  page  30,  31. 

AVhere  did  Dr.  Moore  find  that  Marino  Fa- 
liero  begged  his  life  ?  I  have  searched  the 
chroniclers,  and  find  nothing  of  the  kind ;  it  is 


true  that  he  avowed  all.  He  was  conducted  to 
the  place  of  torture,  but  there  is  no  mention 
made  of  any  application  for  mercy  on  his  part ; 
and  the  very  circumstance  of  their  having  taken 
him  to  the  rack  seems  to  argue  any  thing  but 
his  having  shown  a  want  of  firmness,  which 
would  doubtless  have  been  also  mentioned  by 
those  minute  historians  who  by  no  means  favour 
him :  such,  indeed,  would  be  contrary  to  his 
character  as  a  soldier,  to  the  age  in  which  he 
lived,  and  at  which  he  died,  as  it  is  to  the  truth 
of  history.  I  know  no  justification  at  any 
distance  of  time  for  calumniating  an  historical 
character ;  surely  truth  belongs  to  the  dead, 
and  to  the  unfortunate,  and  they  who  have  died 
upon  a  scaffold  have  generally  had  faults  enough 
of  their  own,  without  attributing  to  them  that 
which  the  very  incurring  of  the  perils  which 
conducted  them  to  their  violent  death  renders, 
of  all  others,  the  most  improbable.  The  black 
veil  which  is  painted  over  the  place  of  Marino 
Faliero  amongst  the  doges,  and  the  Giant's  Stair- 
case where  he  was  crowned,  and  discrowned, 
and  decapitated,  struck  forcibly  upon  my  ima- 
gination, as  did  his  fiery  character  and  strange 
story.  I  went  in  1819  in  search  of  his  tomb 
more  than  once  to  the  church  San  Giovanni  e 
San  Paolo,  and  as  I  was  standing  before  the 


monument  of  another  family,  a  priest  came  up 
to  me  and  said,  "  I  can  show  you  finer  monu- 
ments than  that."  I  told  him  that  I  was  in 
search  of  that  of  the  Faliero  family,  and  par- 
ticularly of  the  Doge  Marino's.  "  Oh,"  said 
he,  "  I  will  show  it  you ;"  and  conducting  me 
to  the  oiitside,  pointed  out  a  sarcophagus  in  the 
wall  with  an  illegible  inscription.  He  said  that 
it  had  b^en  in  a  convent  adjoining,  but  was  re- 
moved after  the  French  came,  and  placed  in  its 
present  situation ;  that  he  had  seen  the  tomb 
opened  at  its  removal ;  there  were  still  some 
bones  remaining,  but  no  positive  vestige  of  the 
decapitation.  The  equestrian  statue  of  which 
I  have  made  mention  in  the  third  act  as  before 
that  church  is  not,  however,  of  a  Faliero,  but  of 
some  other  now  obsolete  warrior,  although  of  a 
later  date.  There  were  two  other  Doges  of 
this  family  prior  to  Marino  :  Ordelafo,  who  fell 
in  battle  at  Zara  in  11 17  (where  his  descendant 
afterwards  conquered  the  Huns),  and  Vital  Fa- 
liero, who  reigned  in  1082.  The  family,  ori- 
ginally from  Fano,  was  of  the  most  illustrious 
in  blood  and  wealth  in  the  city  of  once  the  most 
wealthy  and  still  the  most  ancient  families  in 
Europe.  The  length  I  have  gone  into  on  this 
subject  will  show  the  interest  I  have  taken  in 
it.     Whether  I  have  succeeded  or  not  in  the 

PREFACE.  xvu 

tragedy,  I  have  at  least  transferred  into  our 
language  an  historical  fact  worthy  of  com- 

It  is  now  four  years  that  I  have  meditated 
this  work,  and  before  I  had  sufficiently  examined 
the  records,  I  was  rather  disposed  to  have  made 
it  turn  on  a  jealousy  in  Faliero.  But  perceiving 
no  foundation  for  this  in  historical  truth,  and 
aware  that  jealousy  is  an  exhausted  passion  in 
the  drama,  I  have  given  it  a  more  historical 
form.  I  was  besides  well  advised  by  the  late 
Matthew  Lewis  on  that  point,  in  talking  with 
him  of  my  intention  at  Venice  in  I8I7.  "If 
"  you  make  him  jealous,"  said  he,  "  recollect 
"  that  you  have  to  contend  with  established 
"  writers,  to  say  nothing  of  Shakespeare,  and 
"  an  exhausted  subject ; — stick  to  the  old  fiery 
"  Doge's  natural  character,  which  will  bear  you 
"  out,  if  properly  drawn ;  and  make  your  plot 
"  as  regular  as  you  can."  Sir  William  Drum- 
mond  gave  me  nearly  the  same  counsel.  How 
far  I  have  followed  these  instructions,  or  whether 
they  have  availed  me,  is  not  for  me  to  decide. 
I  have  had  no  view  to  the  stage ;  in  its  pre- 
sent state  it  is,  perhaps,  not  a  very  exalted 
object  of  ambition;  besides  I  have  been  too 
much  behind  the  scenes  to  have  thought  it  so 

xviii  PREFACE. 

at  any  time.  And  I  cannot  conceive  any  man  of 
irritable  feeling  putting  himself  at  the  mercies 

of  an  audience : the  sneering  reader,   and 

the  loud  critic,  and  the  tart  review,  are  scat- 
tered and  distant  calamities ;  but  the  trampling 
of  an  intelligent  or  of  an  ignorant  audience 
on  a  production  which,  be  it  good  or  bad,  has 
been  a  mental  labour  to  the  writer,  is  a  palpa- 
ble and  immediate  grievance,  heightened  by 
a  man's  doubt  of  their  competency  to  judge, 
and  his  certainty  of  his  own  imprudence  in 
electing  them  his  judges.  Were  I  capable  of 
writing  a  play  which  could  be  deemed  stage- 
worthy,  success  would  give  me  no  pleasure,  and 
failure  great  pain.  It  is  for  this  reason  that 
even  during  the  time  of  being  one  of  the  com- 
mittee of  one  of  the  theatres,  I  never  made 
the  attempt,  and  never  will  *.    But  surely  there 

*  While  I  was  in  the  sub-committee  of  Drury  Lane  Theatre, 
I  can  vouch  for  my  colleagues,  and  I  hope  for  myself,  that 
we  did  our  best  to  bring  back  the  legitimate  drama.  I  tried 
what  I  could  to  get  "  De  Montfort"  revived,  but  in  vain,  and 
equally  in  vain  in  favour  of  Sotheby's  "  Ivan,"  which  was 
thought  an  acting  play  ;  and  I  endeavoured  also  to  wake 
Mr.  Coleridge  to  write  a  tragedy.  Those  who  are  not  in  the 
secret  will  hardly  believe  that  the  "  School  for  Scandal"  is 
the  play  which  has  brought  least  money,  averaging  the  num- 
ber of  times  it  has  been  acted  since  its  production  j  so 
Manager  Dibdin  assured  me.     Of  what  has  occurred  since 

piip:face.  XIX 

is  dramatic  power  somewhere,  where  Joanna 
Baillie,  and  Mihnan,  and  John  Wilson  exist. 
The  "  City  of  the  Plague"  and  the  "  Fall  of 
Jerusalem"  are  full  of  the  best  "  materier*  for 

Maturin*s  ''Bertram,"  I  am  not  aware 3  so  that  I  may  be 
traducing,  through  ignorance,  some  excellent  new  writers ; 
if  so,  I  beg  their  pardon.  I  have  been  absent  from  England 
nearly  five  years,  and,  till  last  year,  I  never  read  an  English 
newspaper  since  my  departure,  and  am  now  only  aware  of 
theatrical  matters  through  the  medium  of  theParisian  Gazette 
of  Galignani,  and  only  for  the  last  twelve  months.  Let  me 
then  deprecate  all  offence  to  tragic  or  comic  writers,  to 
whom  I  wish  well,  and  of  whom  I  know  nothing.  The  long 
complaints  of  the  actual  state  of  the  drama  arise,  however, 
from  no  fault  of  the  performers.  I  can  conceive  nothing 
better  than  Kemble,  Cooke,  and  Kean,in  their  very  different 
manners,  or  than  EUiston  in  gentleman^ s  comedy,  and  in 
some  parts  of  tragedy.  Miss  O'Neill  I  never  saw,  having 
made  and  kept  a  determination  to  see  nothing  which  should 
divide  or  disturb  my  recollection  of  Siddons.  Siddons  and 
Kemble  were  the  ideal  of  tragic  action  3  I  never  saw  any 
thing  at  all  resembling  them  even  in  person :  for  this  reason, 
we  shall  never  see  again  Coriolanus  or  Macbeth.  When 
Kean  is  blamed  for  want  of  dignity,  we  should  remember 
that  it  is  a  grace  and  not  an  art,  and  not  to  be  attained  by 
study.  In  all,  not  supERnatural  parts,  he  is  perfect;  even 
his  very  defects  belong,  or  seem  to  belong,  to  the  ptirts 
themselves,  and  appear  truer  to  nature.  But  of  Kemble  we 
may  say,  with  reference  to  his  acting,  what  the  Cardinal  de 
Retz  said  of  the  Marquis  of  Montrose,  "  that  he  was  the 
**  only  man  he  ever  saw  who  reminded  him  of  the  heroesj  of 
*«  riiitarcli." 


tragedy  that  has  been  seen  since  Horace  Wal- 
pole,  except  passages  of  Ethwald  and  De  Mont- 
fort.  It  is  the  fashion  to  underrate  Horace 
Walpole;  firstly,  because  he  was  a  nobleman, 
and  secondly,  because  he  was  a  gentleman  ;  but 
to  say  nothing  of  the  composition  of  his  incom- 
parable letters,  and  of  the  Castle  of  Otranto,  he 
is  the  "  Ultimus  Romanorum,"  the  author  of 
the  Mysterious  Mother,  a  tragedy  of  the  highest 
order,  and  not  a  puling  love-play.  He  is  the 
father  of  the  first  romance,  and  of  the  last 
tragedy  in  our  language,  and  surely  worthy  of 
a  higher  place  than  any  living  writer,  be  he 
who  he  may. 

In  speaking  of  the  drama  of  Marino  Faliero,  I 
forgot  to  mention  that  the  desire  of  preserving, 
though  still  too  remote,  a  nearer  approach  to 
unity  than  the  irregularity,  which  is  the  re- 
proach of  the  English  theatrical  compositions, 
permits,  has  induced  me  to  represent  the  con- 
spiracy as  already  formed,  and  the  Doge  ac- 
ceding to  it,  whereas  in  fact  it  was  of  his  own 
preparation  and  that  of  Israel  Bertuccio.  The 
other  characters  (except  that  of  the  duchess), 
incidents,  and  almost  the  time,  which  was 
wonderfully  short  for  such  a  design  in  real  life, 
are  strictly  historical,  except  that  all  the  con- 


sultations  took  place  in  the  palace.  Had  I 
followed  this,  the  unity  would  have  been  better 
preserved ;  but  I  wished  to  produce  the  Doge 
in  the  full  assembly  of  the  conspirators,  instead 
of  monotonously  placing  him  always  in  dialogue 
with  the  same  individuals.  For  the  real  facts,  I 
refer  to  the  extracts  given  in  the  Appendix  in 
Italian,  with  a  translation. 





Marino  Faliero,  Doge  of  Venice, 

Bertuccio  FalierOj  Nephew  of  the  Doge. 

LiONif  a  Patrician  and  Senator. 

Benintende,  Chief  of  the  Council  of  Ten. 

Michel  Steno,  one  of  the  three  Capi  of  the  Forty. 

Israel  Bertuccio,  Chief  of  \ 

the  Arsenal,  I 

Philip  Calendaro,  \  Conspirators, 

Dagolino,  1 

Bertram,  J 

^  ,     ,^.  ,      c^^  Simore  diNotte^*  one  of  the  Officers 
Signor  of  the  Night,  \        ^,,       .  ,„„. 

t  belonging  to  the  Republtc. 

First  Citizen, 

Second  Citizen, 

Third  Citizen. 


PiETRO,      ^Officers  belonging  to  the  Ducal  Palace, 

B ATT  1ST  A,  ^ 

Secretary  of  the  Council  of  Ten, 
Guards,    Conspirators,  Citizens,   The  Council  of  Ten, 
The  Giunta,  Sfc,  Sfc. 


Angiolina,  Wife  to  the  Doge. 
Marianna,  her  Friend. 

Female  Attendants,  Sfc. 

Scene  Venice — in  the  year  1355. 

B  2 



An  Antechamber  in  the  Ducal  Palace, 
PiETRo  speaks,  in  entering,  to  Battista. 


Is  not  the  messenger  retum'd  ?  • 


Not  yet ; 
I  have  sent  frequently,  as  you  commanded, 
But  still  the  Signory  is  deep  in  council 
And  long  debate  on  Steno''s  accusation. 


Too  long — at  least  so  thinks  the  Doge. 


How  bears  he 
These  moments  of  suspense  ? 


With  struggling  patience. 
Placed  at  the  ducal  table,  covered  o'er 
With  all  the  apparel  of  the  state ;  petitions. 


Despatches,  judgments,  acts,  reprieves,  reports. 

He  sits  as  rapt  in  duty ;  but  whene'er 

He  hears  the  jarring  of  a  distant  door, 

Or  aught  that  intimates  a  coming  step, 

Or  murmur  of  a  voice,  his  quick  eye  wanders. 

And  he  will  start  up  from  his  chair,  then  pause. 

And  seat  himself  again,  and  fix  his  gaze 

Upon  some  edict ;  but  I  have  observed 

For  the  last  hour  he  has  not  turn''d  a  leaf. 


'Tis  said  he  is  much  moved,  and  doubtless  't  was 
Foul  scorn  in  Steno  to  offend  so  grossly. 


Ay,  if  a  poor  man :  Steno 's  a  patrician, 
Young,  galhard,  gay,  and  haughty. 


Tlien  you  think 
He  will  not  be  judged  hardly. 


'Twere  enough 
He  be  judged  justly ;  but  'tis  not  for  us 
To  anticipate  the  sentence  of  the  Forty. 


And  here  it  comes. — What  news,  Vincenzo  ? 
Enter  Vincenzo. 



Decided ;  but  as  yet  his  doom's  unknown : 
I  saw  the  president  in  act  to  seal 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE. 

The  parchment  which  will  bear  the  Forty"*s  judgment 
Unto  the  Doge,  and  hasten  to  inform  him.         [Exeunt. 


The  Ducal  Chamber. 

Marino  Faliero,  Doge;  and  his  nepJiew  Bertuccio 

BERTUCCIO  faliero. 

It  cannot  be  but  they  will  do  you  justice. 


Ay,  such  as  the  Avogadori  did. 

Who  sent  up  my  appeal  unto  the  Forty 

To  try  him  by  his  peers,  his  own  tribunal. 

BERTUCCIO  faliero. 

His  peers  will  scarce  protect  him ;  such  an  act 
Would  bring  contempt  on  all  authority. 

Know  you  not  Venice  ?  Know  you  not  the  Forty  ? 
But  we  shall  see  anon. 

BERTUCCIO  FALIERO   (addressing  Vincenzo,   then 
How  now — what  tidings  ? 


I  am  charged  to  tell  his  highness  that  the  court 
Has  pass'*d  its  resolution,  and  that,  soon 

8  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  i. 

As  the  due  forms  of  judgment  are  gone  through, 
The  sentence  ^vill  be  sent  up  to  the  Doge ; 
In  the  mean  time  the  Forty  doth  salute 
The  Prince  of  the  RepubHc,  and  entreat 
His  acceptation  of  their  duty. 


They  are  wondVous  dutiful,  and  ever  humble. 
Sentence  is  past,  you  say  ? 


It  is,  your  highness : 
The  president  was  sealing  it,  when  I 
Was  caird  in,  that  no  moment  might  be  lost 
In  forwarding  the  intimation  due 
Not  only  to  the  Chief  of  the  Republic 
But  the  complainant,  both  in  one  united. 


Are  you  aware,  from  aught  you  have  perceived. 
Of  their  decision  ? 


No,  my  lord ;  you  know 
The  secret  custom  of  the  courts  in  Venice. 


True ;  but  there  still  is  something  given  to  guess. 

Which  a  shrewd  gleaner  and  quick  eyjs  would  catch  at ; 

A  whisper,  or  a  murmur,  or  an  air 

More  or  less  solemn  spread  o''er  the  tribunal. 

The  Forty  are  but  men — most  worthy  men. 

And  wise,  and  just,  and  cautious — this  I  grant — 

And  secret  as  the  grave  to  which  they  doom 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  9 

The  guilty ;  but  with  all  this,  in  their  aspects — • 
At  least  in  some,  the  juniors  of  the  number — 
A  searching  eye,  an  eye  hke  yours,  Vincenzo, 
Would  read  the  sentence  ere  it  was  pronounced. 


My  lord,  I  came  away  upon  the  moment. 
And  had  no  leisure  to  take  note  of  that 
Which  pass'd  among  the  judges,  even  in  seeming ; 
My  station  near  the  accused  too,  Michel  Steno, 

Made  me 

DOGE  {ahrwptly.) 
And  how  look''d  he  ?  deliver  that. 


Calm,  but  not  overcast,  he  stood  resigned 
To  the  decree,  whatever  it  were ; — ^but  lo  ! 
It  comes,  for  the  perusal  of  his  highness. 

Enter  the  Secret  aey  of  the  Forty. 


The  high  tribunal  of  the  Forty  sends 
Health  and  respect  to  the  Doge  Faliero, 
Chief  magistrate  of  Venice,  and  requests 
His  highness  to  peruse  and  to  approve 
The  sentence  past  on  Michel  Steno,  born 
Patrician,  and  arraigned  upon  the  charge 
Contained,  together  with  its  penalty, 
Within  the  rescript  which  I  now  present. 


Retire,  and  wait  without. — Take  thou  this  paper : 

[Exeunt  Secretary  and  Vincenzo. 

10  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  i. 

The  misty  letters  vanish  from  my  eyes ; 
I  cannot  fix  them. 


Patience,  my  dear  uncle : 
Why  do  you  tremble  thus  ? — nay,  doubt  not,  all 
Will  be  as  could  be  wish"'d. 


Say  on. 

"  Decreed 
"  In  council,  without  one  dissenting  voice, 
"  That  Michel  Steno,  by  his  own  confession, 
"  Guilty  on  the  last  night  of  Carnival 
"  Of  having  graven  on  the  ducal  throne 
"  The  following  words ^" 


Would'*st  thou  repeat  them  ? 
Would'st  thou  repeat  them — thou,  a  Fahero, 
Harp  on  the  deep  dishonour  of  our  house. 
Dishonoured  in  its  chief — that  chief  the  prince 
Of  Venice,  first  of  cities  ? — To  the  sentence. 


Forgive  me,  my  good  lord ;  I  will  obey — 
{Reads.)  "  That  Michel  Steno  be  detained  a  month 
"In  close  arrest." 




My  lord,  "'tis  finished. 


How,  say  you  ? — fimsh"'d  I  Do  I  dream  ? — ^"tis  false — 

SC.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  11 

Give  me  the  paper — {Snatches  the  paper,  and  reads) — 

"  'Tis  decreed  in  council 
"  That  Michel  Steno""' Nephew,  thine  arm  ! 


Cheer  up,  be  calm ;  this  transport  is  uncall**d  for — 
Let  me  seek  some  assistance. 


Stop,  sir — Stir  not — 
'Tis  past. 


I  cannot  but  agree  with  you 
The  sentence  is  too  slight  for  the  offence — 
It  is  not  honourable  in  the  Forty 
To  affix  so  slight  a  penalty  to  that 
Which  was  a  foul  affront  to  you,  and  even 
To  them,  as  being  your  subjects ;  but  His  not 
Yet  without  remedy :  you  can  appeal 
To  them  once  more,  or  to  the  Avogadori,   - 
Who,  seeing  that  true  justice  is  withheld, 
Will  now  take  up  the  cause  they  once  declined. 
And  do  you  right  upon  the  bold  delinquent. 
Think  you  not  thus,  good  uncle  ?  why  do  you  stand 
So  fix'd  ?  You  heed  me  not : — I  pray  you,  hear  me ! 

DoGE,  (dashing'  down  the  ducal  bonnet,  and  offering 

to  trample  upon  it,  exclaims,  as  he  is  withheld 

hy  his  nephew) 
Oh  !  that  the  Saracen  were  in  Saint  Mark's  I 
Thus  would  I  do  him  homage. 


For  the  sake 
Of  Heaven  and  all  its  saints,  my  lord 

12  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  i. 


Away ! 
Oh,  that  the  Genoese  were  in  the  port ! 
Oh,  that  the  Huns  whom  I  ©""erthrew  at  Zara 
Were  ranged  around  the  palace  ! 


'Tis  not  well 
In  Venice**  Duke  to  say  so. 


Venice'  Duke  I 
W^ho  now  is  Duke  in  Venice  ?  let  me  see  him, 
That  he  may  do  me  right. 


If  you  forget 
Your  office,  and  its  dignity  and  duty, 
Remember  that  of  man,  and  curb  this  passion. 

The  Duke  of  Venice 

DOGE  (inter ?'upting'  him.) 

There  is  no  such  thing — 
It  is  a  word — nay,  worse — a  worthless  by-word : 
The  most  despised,  wrong'd,  outraged,  helpless  wretch. 
Who  begs  his  bread,  if  'tis  refused  by  one, 
May  win  it  from  another  kinder  heart ; 
But  he,  who  is  denied  his  right  by  those 
Whose  place  it  is  to  do  no  wrong,  is  poorer 
Than  the  rejected  beggar — ^he's  a  slave — 
And  that  am  I,  and  thou,  and  all  our  house, 
Even  from  this  hour ;  the  meanest  artisan 
Will  point  the  finger,  and  the  haughty  noble 
May  spit  upon  us : — ^where  is  our  redress  ? 


The  law,  my  prince r- 

SC,  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  13 

DOGE  (interrupting'  him.) 

You  see  what  it  has  done — 
I  askM  no  remedy  but  from  the  law — 
I  sought  no  vengeance  but  redress  by  law — 
I  call'd  no  judges  but  those  named  by  law — 
As  sovereign,  I  appeaPd  unto  my  subjects, 
The  very  subjects  who  had  made  me  sovereign, 
And  gave  me  thus  a  double  right  to  be  so. 
The  rights  of  place  and  choice,  of  birth  and  service. 
Honours  and  years,  these  scars,  these  hoary  hairs, 
The  travel,  toil,  the  perils,  the  fatigues, 
The  blood  and  sweat  of  almost  eighty  years. 
Were  weighed  i'the  balance,  'gainst  the  foulest  stain, 
The  grossest  insult,  most  contemptuous  crime 
Of  a  rank,  rash  patrician — and  found  wanting ! 
And  this  is  to  be  borne  ? 


I  say  not  that : — 
In  case  your  fresh  appeal  should  be  rejected, 
We  will  find  other  means  to  make  all  even. 


Appeal  again  !  art  thou  my  brother's  son  ? 

A  scion  of  the  house  of  Faliero  ? 

The  nephew  of  a  Doge  ?  and  of  that  blood 

Which  hath  already  given  three  dukes  to  Venice  ? 

But  thou  say'st  well — we  must  be  humble  now. 


My  princely  uncle !  you  are  too  much  moved : — 
I  grant  it  was  a  gross  offence,  and  grossly 
Left  >vithout  fitting  punishment ;  but  still 

l^*  MARINO  FALIEllO,  act  I. 

This  fury  doth  exceed  the  provocation, 

Or  any  provocation :  if  we  are  wrong'd, 

We  will  ask  justice ;  if  it  be  denied, 

We'll  take  it ;  but  may  do  all  this  in  calmness — 

Deep  Vengeance  is  the  daughter  of  deep  Silence. 

I  have  yet  scarce  a  third  part  of  your  years, 

I  love  our  house,  I  honour  you,  its  chief, 

The  guardian  of  my  youth,  and  its  instructor — 

But  though  I  understand  your  grief,  and  enter 

In  part  of  your  disdain,  it  doth  appal  me 

To  see  your  anger,  Hke  our  Adrian  waves, 

Cersweep  all  bounds,  and  foam  itself  to  air. 


I  tell  thee — must  I  tell  thee — what  thy  father 
Would  have  required  no  words  to  comprehend .? 
Hast  thou  no  feeling  save  the  external  sense 
Of  torture  from  the  touch  ?  hast  thou  no  soul — 
No  pride — no  passion — no  deep  sense  of  honour  ? 


'Tis  the  first  time  that  honour  has  been  doubted. 
And  were  the  last,  from  any  other  sceptic. 


You  know  the  full  offence  of  this  bom  villain, 
This  creeping,  coward,  rank,  acquitted  felon. 
Who  threw  his  sting  into  a  poisonous  hbel. 
And  on  the  honour  of — Oh  God ! — ^my  wife. 
The  nearest,  dearest  part  of  all  men''s  honour. 
Left  a  base  slur  to  pass  from  mouth  to  mouth 
Of  loose  mechanics,  with  all  coarse  foul  comments. 
And  villanous  jests,  and  blasphemies  obscene ; 


SC.  II. 


While  sneering  nobles,  in  more  polish'd  guise, 
Whisper'd  the  tale,  and  smiled  upon  the  he 
Which  made  me  look  like  them — a  courteous  wittol, 
Patient — ay,  proud,  it  may  be,  of  dishonour. 


But  still  it  was  a  lie — you  knew  it  false, 
And  so  did  all  men. 


Nephew,  the  high  Roman 
Said,  "  Caesar's  wife  must  not  even  be  suspected,'" 
And  put  her  from  him. 


True — ^but  in  those  days — 


What  is  it  that  a  Roman  would  not  suffer. 
That  a  Venetian  prince  must  bear  ?  Old  Dandolo 
Refused  the  diadem  of  all  the  Caesars, 
And  wore  the  ducal  cap  I  trample  on, 
Because  'tis  now  degraded. 


'Tis  even  so. 


It  is — it  is : — I  did  not  visit  on 
The  innocent  creature  thus  most  vilely  slander'd 
Because  she  took  an  old  man  for  her  lord. 
For  that  he  had  been  long  her  father's  friend 
And  patron  of  her  house,  as  if  there  were 
No  love  in  woman's  heart  but  lust  of  youth 
And  beardless  faces ; — I  did  not  for  this 

16  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  I. 

Visit  the  villain's  infamy  on  her, 
But  craved  my  country's  justice  on  his  head, 
The  justice  due  unto  the  humblest  being 
Who  hath  a  wife  whose  faith  is  sweet  to  him. 
Who  hath  a  home  whose  hearth  is  dear  to  him, 
Who  hath  a  name  whose  honour 's  all  to  him, 
When  these  are  tainted  by  the  accursing  breath 
Of  calumny  and  scorn. 


And  what  redress 
Did  you  expect  as  his  fit  punishment  ? 


Death  !     Was  I  not  the  sovereign  of  the  state — 
Insulted  on  his  very  throne,  and  made 
A  mockery  to  the  men  who  should  obey  me  ? 
Was  I  not  injured  as  a  husband .''  scom'd 
As  man  ?  reviled,  degraded,  as  a  prince  ? 
Was  not  offence  like  his  a  complication 
Of  insult  and  of  treason  ? — and  he  lives  ! 
Had  he  instead  of  on  the  Doge's  throne 
Stampt  the  same  brand  upon  a  peasant's  stool, 
His  blood  had  gilt  the  threshold ;  for  the  carle 
Had  stabb'd  him  on  the  instant. 


Do  not  doubt  it. 
He  shall  not  live  till  sunset — Cleave  to  me 
The  means,  and  calm  yourself. 


Hold,  nephew :  this 

sc.  II,  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  17 

Would  have  sufficed  but  yesterday ;  at  present 
I  have  no  further  wrath  against  this  man.  * 


What  mean  you  ?  is  not  the  offence  redoubled 
By  this  most  rank — I  will  not  say — acquittal ; 
For  it  is  worse,  being  full  acknowledgment 
Of  the  offence,  and  leaving  it  unpunished  ? 


It  is  redoubled,  but  not  now  by  him  : 

The  Forty  hath  decreed  a  month^s  arrest — 

We  must  obey  the  Forty. 


Obey  them ! 
Who  have  forgot  their  duty  to  the  sovereign  ? 


Why,  yes ; — ^boy,  you  perceive  it  then  at  last : 

Whether  as  fellow  citizen  who  sues 

For  justice,  or  as  sovereign  who  commands  it. 

They  have  defrauded  me  of  both  my  rights 

(For  here  the  sovereign  is  a  citizen)  ; 

But,  notwithstanding,  harm  not  thou  a  hair 

Of  Steno's  head — ^he  shall  not  wear  it  long. 


Not  twelve  hours  longer,  had  you  left  to  me 

The  mode  and  means :  if  you  had  calmly  heard  me, 

I  never  meant  this  miscreant  should  escape, 

But  wish'd  you  to  repress  such  gusts  of  passion, 

That  we  more  surely  might  devise  together 

His  taking  off. 

18  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  i. 


No,  nephew,  he  must  hve ; 
At  least,  just  now — a  Ufe  so  vile  as  his 
Were  nothing  at  this  hour ;  in  th'  olden  time 
Some  sacrifices  ask''d  a  single  victim, 
Great  expiations  had  a  hecatomb. 


Your  wishes  are  my  law ;  and  yet  I  fain 
Would  prove  to  you  how  near  unto  my  heart 
The  honour  of  our  house  must  ever  be. 


Fear  not;  you  shall  have  time  and  place  of  proof: 
But  be  not  thou  too  rash,  as  I  have  been. 
I  am  ashamed  of  my  own  anger  now ; 
I  pray  you,  pardon  me. 


Why  that's  my  uncle  ! 
The  leader,  and  the  statesman,  and  the  chief 
Of  commonwealths,  and  sovereign  of  himself ! 
I  wondered  to  perceive  you  so  forget 
All  prudence  in  your  fury  at  these  years, 
Although  the  cause 


Ay,  think  upon  the  cause — 
Forget  it  not : — When  you  lie  down  to  rest. 
Let  it  be  black  among  your  dreams ;  and  when 
The  morn  returns,  so  let  it  stand  between 
The  sun  and  you,  as  an  ill  omen'd  cloud 
Upon  a  summer-day  of  festival : 
So  will  it  stand  to  me ; — ^but  speak  not,  stir  not, — 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  19 

Leave  all  to  me ; — we  shall  have  much  to  do, 
And  you  shall  have  a  part. — But  now  retire, 
'Tis  fit  I  were  alone. 


(taking  up  and  placing  the  ducal  bonnet  on  the  table) 
Ere  I  depart, 
I  pray  you  to  resume  what  you  have  spumM, 
Till  you  can  change  it  haply  for  a  crown. 
And  now  I  take  my  leave,  imploring  you 
In  all  things  to  rely  upon  my  duty 
As  doth  become  your  near  and  faithful  kinsman. 
And  not  less  loyal  citizen  and  subject. 

[Exit  Bertuccio  Faliero. 

DOGE  (solus. J 

Adieu,  my  worthy  nephew. — Hollow  bauble ! 

[Taking  up  tlie  ducal  cap. 
Beset  with  all  the  thorns  that  line  a  crown. 
Without  investing  the  insulted  brow 
With  the  all-swaying  majesty  of  kings ; 
Thou  idle,  gilded,  and  degraded  toy, 
Let  me  resume  thee  as  I  would  a  vizor.  [Puts  it  on. 

How  my  brain  aches  beneath  thee  !  and  my  temples 
Throb  feverish  under  thy  dishonest  weight 
Could  I  not  turn  thee  to  a  diadem  ? 
Could  I  not  shatter  the  Briarean  sceptre 
Which  in  this  hundred-handed  senate  rules. 
Making  the  people  nothing,  and  the  prince 
A  pageant  .''In  my  life  I  have  achieved 
Tasks  not  less  difficult — achieved  for  them. 
Who  thus  repay  me  ! — Can  I  not  requite  them  ? 


20  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  i. 

Oh  for  one  year  !  Oh  !  but  for  even  a  day 
Of  my  full  youth,  while  yet  my  body  served 
My  soul  as  serves  the  generous  steed  his  lord, 
I  would  have  dash'd  amongst  them,  asking  few 
In  aid  to  overthrow  these  swoln  patricians; 
But  now  I  must  look  round  for  other  hands 
To  serve  this  hoary  head ; — but  it  shall  plan 
In  such  a  sort  as  will  not  leave  the  task 
Herculean,  though  as  yet  'tis  but  a  chaos 
Of  darkly-brooding  thoughts :  my  fancy  is 
In  her  first  work,  more  nearly  to  the  light 
Holding  the  sleeping  images  of  things 
For  the  selection  of  the  pausing  judgment. — 

The  troops  are  few  in 

'  Enter  Vincenzo. 

There  is  one  without 
Craves  audience  of  your  highness. 


I''m  unwell — 
I  can  see  no  one,  not  even  a  patrician — 
Let  him  refer  his  business  to  the  council. 


My  lord,  I  will  deliver  your  reply ; 

It  cannot  much  import — he 's  a  plebeian, 

The  master  of  a  galley,  I  believe. 


How  !  did  you  say  the  patron  of  a  galley  ? 
That  is — I  mean — a  servant  of  the  state : 
Admit  him,  he  may  be  on  public  service. 

[Exit  ViNCENZO. 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  •  21 

DOGE  (solus.) 

This  patron  may  be  sounded ;  I  will  try  him. 

I  know  the  people  to  be  discontented ; 

They  have  cause,  since  Sapienza^s  adverse  day, 

When  Genoa  conquered :  they  have  further  cause, 

Since  they  are  nothing  in  the  state,  and  in 

The  city  worse  than  nothing — mere  machines. 

To  serve  the  nobles'*  most  patrician  pleasure. 

The  troops  have  long  arrears  of  pay,  oft  promised. 

And  murmur  deeply — any  hope  of  change 

Will  draw  them  forward :  they  shall  pay  themselves 

With  plunder : — ^but  the  priests — I  doubt  the  priesthood 

Will  not  be  with  us ;  they  have  hated  me 

Since  that  rash  hour,  when,  madden'd  with  the  drone, 

(01  smote  the  tardy  bishop  at  Treviso, 

Quickening  his  holy  march  ;  yet,  ne''ertheless, 

They  may  be  won,  at  least  their  chief  at  Rome, 

By  some  well-timed  concessions ;  but,  above 

All  things,  I  must  be  speedy ;  at  my  hour 

Of  twilight  little  light  of  hfe  remains. 

Could  I  free  Venice,  and  avenge  my  wrongs, 

I  had  hved  too  long,  and  willingly  would  sleep 

Next  moment  with  my  sires ;  and,  wanting  this, 

Better  that  sixty  of  my  fourscore  years 

Had  been  already  where — how  soon,  I  care  not — 

The  whole  must  be  extinguished ; — better  that 

They  ne'*er  had  been,  than  drag  me  on  to  be 

The  thing  these  arch-oppressors  fain  would  make  me. 

Let  me  consider — of  efficient  troops 

There  are  three  thousand  posted  at 

22  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  i. 

Enter  Vincenzo  cmd  Israel  Bertuccio. 


May  it  please 
Your  highness,  the  same  patron  whom  I  spake  of 
Is  here  to  crave  your  patience. 


Leave  the  chamber, 
Vincenzo. — 

[Exit  Vincenzo. 
Sir,  you  may  advance — what  would  you  ? 




Of  whom  ? 


Of  God  and  of  the  Doge. 


Alas !  my  friend,  you  seek  it  of  the  twain 
Of  least  respect  and  interest  in  Venice. 
You  must  address  the  council. 


'Twere  in  vain; 
For  he  who  injured  me  is  one  of  them. 


There 's  blood  upon  thy  face — ^how  came  it  there  ? 


'Tis  mine,  and  not  the  first  I've  shed  for  Venice, 
But  the  first  shed  by  a  Venetian  hand : 
A  noble  smote  me. 


Doth  he  live  ? 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  23 


Not  long — 
But  for  the  hope  I  had  and  have,  that  you, 
My  prince,  yourself  a  soldier,  will  redress 
Him,  whom  the  laws  of  discipline  and  Venice 
Permit  not  to  protect  himself;  if  not — 
I  say  no  more. 


But  something  you  would  do — 
Is  it  not  so  ? 


I  am  a  man,  my  lord. 


Why  SO  is  he  who  smote  you. 


He  is  called  so ; 
Nay,  more,  a  noble  one — at  least,  in  Venice : 
But  since  he  hath  forgotten  that  I  am  one. 
And  treats  me  hke  a  brute,  the  brute  may  turn — 
Tis  said  the  worm  will. 


Say — ^his  name  and  Hneage  ? 




What  was  the  cause  ?  or  the  pretext  ? 


I  am  the  chief  of  the  arsenal,  employed 
At  present  in  repairing  certain  galleys 
But  roughly  used  by  the  Genoese  last  year. 

24  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  i. 

This  morning  comes  the  noble  Barbaro 

Full  of  reproof,  because  our  artisans 

Had  left  some  frivolous  order  of  his  house. 

To  execute  the  state's  decree ;  I  dared 

To  justify  the  men — ^he  raised  his  hand ; — 

Behold  my  blood  !  the  first  time  it  e'er  flow'd 



Hav^  you  long  time  served  ? 


So  long  as  to  remember  Zara's  siege, 

And  fight  beneath  the  chief  who  beat  the  Huns  there, 

Sometime  my  general,  now  the  Doge  Fahero. — 


How  !  are  we  comrades  ? — the  state's  ducal  robes 
Sit  newly  on  me,  and  you  were  appointed 
Chief  of  the  arsenal  ere  I  came  from  Rome ; 
So  that  I  recognised  you  not.     Who  placed  you  ? 


The  late  Doge ;  keeping  still  my  old  command 
As  patron  of  a  galley :  my  new  office 
Was  given  as  the  reward  of  certain  scars 
(So  was  your  predecessor  pleased  to  say) : 
I  little  thought  his  bounty  would  conduct  me 
To  hib  successor  as  a  helpless  plaintiff; 
At  least,  in  such  a  cause. 


Are  you  much  hurt  ? 


Irreparably  in  my  self-esteem. 

sc.  11.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  25 


Speak  out ;  fear  nothing :  being  stung  at  heart, 
What  would  you  do  to  be  revenged  on  this  man  ? 


That  which  I  dare  not  name,  and  yet  will  do. 


Then  wherefore  came  you  here  ? 


I  come  for  justice, 
Because  my  general  is  Doge,  and  will  not 
See  his  old  soldier  trampled  on.     Had  any. 
Save  Faliero,  filPd  the  ducal  throne. 
This  blood  had  been  wash'd  out  in  other  blood. 


You  come  to  me  for  justice — unto  ine  I 
The  Doge  of  Venice,  and  I  cannot  give  it ; 
I  cannot  even  obtain  it — ^'twas  denied 
To  me  most  solemnly  an  hour  ago. 


How  says  your  highness  ? 


Steno  is  condemned 
To  a  month's  confinement 


What !  the  same  who  dared 
To  stain  the  ducal  throne  with  those  foul  words. 
That  have  cried  shame  to  every  ear  in  Venice  ? 


Ay,  doubtless  they  have  echo'd  o'er  the  arsenal. 
Keeping  due  time  with  every  hammer's  clink 

26  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  i. 

As  a  good  jest  to  jolly  artisans ; 
Or  making  chorus  to  the  creaking  oar, 
In  the  vile  tune  of  every  galley  slave, 
Who,  as  he  sung  the  merry  stave,  exulted 
He  was  not  a  shamed  dotard  like  the  Doge. 


Is  ""t  possible  ?  a  month"'s  imprisonment ! 
No  more  for  Steno  ? 


You  have  heard  the  offence, 
And  now  you  know  his  punishment ;  and  then 
You  ask  redress  of  me !  Go  to  the  Forty, 
Who  pass''d  the  sentence  upon  Michel  Steno ; 
They'll  do  as  much  by  Barbaro,  no  doubt. 


Ah  !  dared  I  speak  my  feelings ! 


Give  them  breath. 
Mine  have  no  further  outrage  to  endure. 


Then,  in  a  word,  it  rests  but  on  your  word 
To  punish  and  avenge — I  will  not  say 
Mt/  petty  wrong,  for  what  is  a  mere  blow, 
However  vile,  to  such  a  thing  as  I  am .'' — 
But  the  base  insult  done  your  state  and  person, 


You  oveiTate  my  power,  which  is  a  pageant. 
This  cap  is  not  the  monarch's  crown ;  these  robes 
Might  move  compassion,  like  a  beggar's  rags ; 
Nay,  more,  a  beggar's  are  his  own,  and  these 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  27 

But  lent  to  the  poor  puppet,  who  must  play 
Its  part  with  all  its  empire  in  this  ermine. 


Wouldst  thou  be  king  ? 


Yes — of  a  happy  people. 


Wouldst  thou  be  sovereign  lord  of  Venice  ? 



If  that  the  people  shared  that  sovereignty, 
So  that  nor  they  nor  I  were  further  slaves 
To  this  overgrown  aristocratic  Hydra, 
The  poisonous  heads  of  whose  envenomed  body 
Have  breathed  a  pestilence  upon  us  all. 


Yet,  thou  wast  born  and  still  hast  lived  patrician. 


In  evil  hour  was  I  so  born ;  my  birth 

Hath  made  me  Doge  to  be  insulted :  but 

I  lived  and  toil'd  a  soldier  and  a  servant 

Of  Venice  and  her  people,  not  the  senate ; 

Their  good  and  my  own  honour  were  my  guerdon. 

I  have  fought  and  bled ;  commanded,  ay,  and  conquer'*d ; 

Have  made  and  marr''d  peace  oft  in  embassies, 

As  it  might  chance  to  be  our  country''s  'vantage ; 

Have  traversed  land  and  sea  in  constant  duty. 

Through  almost  sixty  years,  and  still  for  Venice, 

My  fathers'  and  my  birthplace,  whose  dear  spires. 

Rising  at  distance  o'er  the  blue  Lagoon, 

^  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  i. 

It  was  reward  enough  for  me  to  view 

Once  more ;  but  not  for  any  knot  of  men, 

Nor  sect,  nor  faction,  did  I  bleed  or  sweat  I 

But  would  you  know  why  I  have  done  all  this  ? 

Ask  of  the  bleeding  peHcan  why  she 

Hath  ripp''d  her  bosom  ?     Had  the  bird  a  voice. 

She'd  tell  thee  'twas  for  all  her  little  ones. 


And  yet  they  made  thee  duke. 


Thei/  made  me  so ; 
I  sought  it  not,  the  flattering  fetters  met  me 
Returning  from  my  Roman  embassy, 
And  never  having  hitherto  refused 
Toil,  charge,  or  duty  for  the  state,  I  did  not, 
At  these  late  years,  decline  wliat  was  the  highest 
Of  all  in  seeming,  but  of  all  most  base 
In  what  we  have  to  do  and  to  endure : 
Bear  witness  for  me  thou,  my  injured  subject. 
When  I  can  neither  right  myself  nor  thee. 


You  shall  do  both,  if  you  possess  the  will ; 
And  many  thousands  more  not  less  oppressed, 
Who  wait  but  for  a  signal — will  you  give  it  ? 


You  speak  in  riddles. 


Which  shall  soon  be  read 
At  peril  of  my  Hfe ;  if  you  disdain  not 
To  lend  a  patient  ear. 

so.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  ^ 


Say  on. 


Not  thou, 
Nor  I  alone,  are  injured  and  abused. 
Contemned,  and  trampled  on ;  but  the  whole  people 
Groan  with  the  strong  conception  of  their  wrongs : 
The  foreign  soldiers  in  the  senate's  pay 
Are  discontented  for  their  long  arrears ; 
The  native  mariners,  and  civic  troops. 
Feel  with  their  friends ;  for  who  is  he  amongst  them 
Whose  brethren,  parents,  children,  wives,  or  sisters. 
Have  not  partook  oppression,  or  pollution. 
From  the  patricians  .'*     And  the  hopeless  war 
Against  the  Genoese,  which  is  still  maintain'*d 
With  the  plebeian  blood,  and  treasure  wrung 
From  their  hard  earnings,  has  inflamed  them  further : 
Even  now — ^but,  I  forget  that  speaking  thus, 
Perhaps  I  pass  the  sentence  of  my  death  I 


And  suffering  what  thou  hast  done — fear'st  thou  death .'' 
Be  silent  then,  and  live  on,  to  be  beaten 
By  those  for  whom  thou  hast  bled. 


No,  I  will  speak 
At  every  hazard ;  and  if  Venice"'  Doge 
Should  turn  delator,  be  the  shame  on  him, 
And  sorrow  too ;  for  he  will  lose  far  more 
Than  I. 


From  me  fear  nothing ;  out  with  it ! 

so  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  i. 


Know  then,  that  there  are  met  and  sworn  in  secret 

A  band  of  brethren,  vahant  hearts  and  true ; 

Men  who  have  proved  all  fortunes,  and  have  long 

Grieved  over  that  of  Venice,  and  have  right 

To  do  so ;  having  served  her  in  all  climes, 

And  having  rescued  her  from  foreign  foes, 

Would  do  the  same  from  those  within  her  walls. 

They  are  not  numerous,  nor  yet  too  few 

For  their  great  purpose ;  they  have  arms,  and  means, 

And  hearts,  and  hopes,  and  faith,  and  patient  courage. 


For  what  then  do  Uiey  pause  ? 


An  hour  to  strike. 
DOGE  (aside.) 
Saint  Mark''s  shall  strike  that  hour ! 


I  now  have  placed 
My  life,  my  honour,  all  my  earthly  hopes 
Within  thy  power,  but  in  the  firm  belief 
That  injuries  like  ours,  sprung  from  one  cause. 
Will  generate  one  vengeance :  should  it  be  so. 
Be  our  chief  now — our  sovereign  hereafter. 


How  many  are  ye  ? 


I  '11  not  answer  that 
Till  I  am  answerM. 


How,  Sir  !  do  vou  menace  ? 

J5C.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  31 


No;  I  affirm.     I  have  betray'd  myself; 

But  there 's  no  torture  in  the  mystic  wells 

Which  undermine  your  palace,  nor  in  those 

Not  less  appalling  cells,  the  "  leaden  roofs," 

To  force  a  single  name  from  me  of  others. 

The  Pozzi  and  the  Piombi  were  in  vain ; 

They  might  wring  blood  from  me,  but  treachery  never. 

And  I  would  pass  the  fearful  "  Bridge  of  Sighs," 

Joyous  that  mine  must  be  the  last  that  e'er 

Would  echo  o'er  the  Stygian  wave  which  flows 

Between  the  murderers  and  the  murdered,  washing 

The  prison  and  the  palace  walls :  there  are 

Thpse  who  would  live  to  think  on't,  and  avenge  me. 


If  such  your  power  and  purpose,  why  come  here 
To  sue  for  justice,  being  in  the  course 
To  do  yourself  due  right  ? 


Because  the  man, 
Who  claims  protection  from  authority. 
Showing  his  confidence  and  his  submission 
To  that  authority,  can  hardly  be 
Suspected  of  combining  to  destroy  it. 
Had  I  sate  down  too  humbly  with  this  blow, 
A  moody  brow  and  mutter'd  threats  had  made  me 
A  mark"'d  man  to  the  Forty's  inquisition ; 
But  loud  complaint,  however  angrily 
It  shapes  its  phrase,  is  little  to  be  fear'd, 
And  less  distrusted.     But,  besides  all  this, 
I  had  another  reason. 

32  MARINO  FALIERO^  act  i. 


What  was  that  ? 


Some  rumours  that  the  Doge  was  greatly  moved 

By  the  reference  of  the  Avogadori 

Of  Michel  Steno''s  sentence  to  the  Forty 

Had  reached  me.     I  had  served  you,  honour**d  you, 

And  felt  that  you  were  dangerously  insulted, 

Being  of  an  order  of  such  spirits,  as 

Requite  tenfold  both  good  and  evil :  "^twas 

My  wish  to  prove  and  urge  you  to  redress. 

Now  you  know  all ;  and  that  I  speak  the  truth, 

My  peril  be  the  proof. 


You  have  deeply  ventured ; 
But  all  must  do  so  who  would  greatly  win : 
Thus  far  I  ""ll  answer  you — ^your  secret 's  safe. 


And  is  this  all  ? 


Unless  with  all  entrusted. 
What  would  you  have  me  answer  ? 


I  would  have  you 
Trust  him  who  leaves  his  life  in  trust  with  you. 


But  I  must  know  your  plan,  your  names,  and  numbers ; 
The  last  may  then  be  doubled,  and  the  former 
Matured  and  strengthened. 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  3S 


We're  enough  already ; 
You  are  the  sole  ally  we  covet  now. 


But  bring  me  to  the  knowledge  of  your  chiefs. 


That  shall  be  done  upon  your  formal  pledge 
To  keep  the  faith  that  we  will  pledge  to  you. 


When.?  where.? 


This  night  111  bring  to  your  apartment 
Two  of  the  principals ;  a  greater  number 
Were  hazardous. 


Stay,  I  must  think  of  this. 
What  if  I  were  to  trust  myself  amongst  you. 
And  leave  the  palace  ? 


You  must  come  alone. 


With  but  my  nephew. 


Not  were  he  your  son. 


Wretch !  darest  thou  name  my  son  ?     He  died  in  arms 

At  Sapienza  for  this  faithless  state. 

Oh  !  that  he  were  alive,  and  I  in  ashes ! 

Or  that  he  were  alive  ere  I  be  ashes !  ■ 

I  should  not  need  the  dubious  aid  of  strangers. 


S4  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  i. 


Not  one  of  all  those  strangers  whom  thou  doubtest, 

But  will  regard  thee  with  a  fihal  feeling, 

So  that  thou  keep*'st  a  father's  faith  with  them. 


The  die  is  cast.     Where  is  the  place  of  meeting  ? 


At  midnight  I  will  be  alone  and  mask'd 
Where'er  your  highness  pleases  to  direct  me, 
To  wait  your  coming,  and  conduct  you  where 
You  shall  receive  our  homage,  and  pronounce 
Upon  our  project. 


At  what  hour  arises 
The  moon  ? 


Late,  but  the  atmosphere  is  thick  and  dusky ; 
'Tis  a  sirocco. 


At  the  midnight  hour,  then. 
Near  to  the  church  where  sleep  my  sires ;  the  same, 
Twin-named  from  the  apostles  John  and  Paul ; 
A  gondola,  (2)  with  one  oar  only,  will 
Lurk  in  the  narrow  channel  which  gUdes  by. 
Be  there. 


I  will  not  fail. 


And  now  retire 


In  the  full  hope  your  highness  will  not  falter 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  Sl^ 

In  your  great  purpose.     Prince,  I  take  my  leave. 

[Ea:it  Israel  Beetdccig. 
DOGE  (solus.) 
At  midnight,  by  the  church  Saints  John  and  Paul, 
Where  sleep  my  noble  fathers,  I  repair — 
To  what  ?  to  hold  a  coimcil  in  the  dark 
With  common  ruffians  leagued  to  ruin  states ! 
And  will  not  my  great  sires  leap  from  the  vault. 
Where  lie  two  doges  who  preceded  me. 
And  pluck  me  down  amongst  them  ?  Would  they  could ! 
For  I  should  rest  in  honour  with  the  honoured. 
Alas !  I  must  not  think  of  them,  but  those 
Who  have  made  me  thus  unworthy  of  a  name, 
Noble  and  brave  as  aught  of  consular 
On  Roman  marbles ;  but  I  will  redeem  it 
Back  to  its  antique  lustre  in  our  annals. 
By  sweet  revenge  on  all  that 's  base  in  Venice, 
And  freedom  to  the  rest,  or  leave  it  black 
To  all  the  growing  calumnies  of  time, 
Which  never  spare  the  fame  of  him  who  fails. 
But  try  the  Caesar,  or  the  Catiline, 
By  the  true  touchstone  of  desert — success. 

END    OF    ACT    I. 


36  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii. 

ACT  II.     SCENE  I. 

An  Apartment  in  the  Dttcal  Palace. 
Angiolina  (wi/e  of  the  Doge)  and  Maeianna. 


What  was  the  Doge's  answer  ? 


That  he  was 
That  moment  summoned  to  a  conference ; 
But  'tis  by  this  time  ended.     I  perceived 
Not  long  ago  the  senators  embarking  ; 
And  the  last  gondola  may  now  be  seen 
Ghding  into  the  throng  of  barks  which  stud 
The  glittering  waters, 


Would  he  were  return'd  ! 
He  has  been  much  disquieted  of  late ; 
And  Time,  which  has  not  tamed  his  fiery  spirit, 
Nor  yet  enfeebled  even  his  mortal  frame, 
Which  seems  to  be  more  nourish'd  by  a  soul 
So  quick  and  restless  that  it  would  consume 
Less  hardy  clay — Time  has  but  little  power 
On  his  resentments  or  his  griefs.     Unlike 
To  other  spirits  of  his  order,  who. 
In  the  first  burst  of  passion,  pour  away 
Their  wrath  or  sorrow,  all  things  wear  in  him 
An  aspect  of  eternity :  his  thoughts, 
His  feelings,  passions,  good  or  evil,  all 

sc.  I.  POGE  OF  VENICE.  3T 

Have  nothing  of  old  age ;  and  his  bold  brow 
Bears  but  the  scars  of  mind,  the  thoughts  of  years, 
Not  their  decrepitude :  and  he  of  late 
Has  been  more  agitated  than  his  wont. 
Would  he  were  come !  for  I  alone  have  power 
Upon  his  troubled  spirit. 


It  is  true, 
His  highness  has  of  late  been  greatly  moved 
By  the  affront  of  Steno,  and  with  cause ; 
But  the  offender  doubtless  even  now 
Is  doom'd  to  expiate  his  rash  insult  with 
Such  chastisement  as  will  enforce  respect 
To  female  virtue,  and  to  noble  blood. 


'Twas  a  gross  insult ;  but  I  heed  it  not 
For  the  rash  scomer''s  falsehood  in  itself. 
But  for  the  effect,  the  deadly  deep  impression 
Which  it  has  made  upon  Faliero's  soul, 
The  proud,  the  fiery,  the  austere — ^austere 
To  all  save  me :  I  tremble  when  I  think 
To  what  it  may  conduct. 


The  Doge  can  not  suspect  you  ? 


Suspect  me ! 
Why  Steno  dared  not :  when  he  scrawPd  his  He, 
Groveling  by  stealth  in  the  moon''s  glimmering  light, 
His  own  still  conscience  smote  him  for  the  act. 

38  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii. 

And  every  shadow  on  the  walls  frown'd  shame 
Upon  his  coward  calumny. 


'T  were  fit 
He  should  be  punish'd  grievously. 


He  is  SO. 


What !  is  the  sentence  past  ?  is  he  condemned  ? 


I  know  not  that,  but  he  has  been  detected. 


And  deem  you  this  enough  for  such  foul  scorn  ? 


I  would  not  be  a  judge  in  my  own  cause, 
Nor  do  I  know  what  s^nse  of  punishment 
May  reach  the  soul  of  ribalds  such  as  Steno ; 
But  if  his  insults  sink  no  deeper  in 
The  minds  of  the  inquisitors  than  they 
Have  ruffled  mine,  he  will,  for  all  acquittance. 
Be  left  to  his  own  shamelessness  or  shame. 


Some  sacrifice  is  due  to  slander'd  virtue. 


Why,  what  is  virtue  if  it  needs  a  victim  ? 
Or  if  it  must  depend  upon  men's  words  ? 
The  dying  Roman  said,  "  'twas  but  a  name :" 
It  were  indeed  no  more,  if  human  breath 
Could  make  or  mar  it. 


Yet  full  many  a  dame. 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE. 

Stainless  and  faithful,  would  feel  all  the  wrong 
Of  such  a  slander ;  and  less  rigid  ladies, 
Such  as  abound  in  Venice,  would  be  loud 
And  all-inexorable  in  their  cry 
For  justice. 


This  but  proves  it  is  the  name 
And  not  the  quality  they  prize :  the  first 
Have  found  it  a  hard  task  to  hold  their  honour. 
If  they  require  it  to  be  blazon'd  forth ; 
And  those  who  have  not  kept  it,  seek  i4;s  seeming 
As  they  would  look  out  for  an  ornament 
Of  which  they  feel  the  want,  but  not  because 
They  think  it  so ;  they  hve  in  others'  thoughts, 
And  would  seem  honest  as  they  must  seem  fair. 


You  have  strange  thoughts  for  a  patrician  dame. 


And  yet  they  were  my  father's ;  with  his  name. 
The  sole  inheritance  he  left 


You  want  none ; 
Wife  to  a  prince,  the  chief  of  the  Republic. 


I  should  have  sought  none  though  a  peasant's  bride, 
But  feel  not  less  the  love  and  gratitude 
Due  to  my  father,  who  bestow'd  my  hand 
Upon  his  early,  tried,  and  trusted  friend, 
The  Count  Val  di  Marino,  now  our  Doge. 


And  with  that  hand  did  he  bestow  your  heart  ? 

40  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii. 


He  did  so,  or  it  had  not  been  bestowed. 


Yet  this  strange  disproportion  in  your  years. 
And,  let  me  add,  disparity  of  tempers. 
Might  make  the  world  doubt  whether  such  an  union 
Could  make  you  wisely,  permanently,  happy. 


The  world  will  think  with  worldlings ;  but  my  heart 
Has  still  been  in  my  duties,  which  are  many. 
But  never  difficult. 


And  do  you  love  him  ? 


I  love  all  noble  qualities  which  merit 

Love,  and  I  loved  my  father,  who  first  taught  me 

To  single  out  what  we  should  love  in  others, 

And  to  subdue  all  tendency  to  lend 

The  best  and  purest  feehngs  of  our  nature 

To  baser  passions.     He  bestow''d  my  hand 

Upon  Fahero :  he  had  known  him  noble. 

Brave,  generous,  rich  in  all  the  quahties 

Of  soldier,  citizen,  and  friend ;  in  all 

Such  have  I  found  him  as  my  father  said. 

His  faults  are  those  that  dwell  in  the  high  bosoms 

Of  men  who  have  commanded ;  too  much  pride. 

And  the  deep  passions  fiercely  foster'd  by 

The  uses  of  patricians,  and  a  life 

Spent  in  the  storms  of  state  and  war ;  and  also 

From  the  quick  sense  of  honour,  which  becomes 

A  duty  to  a  certain  sign,  a  vice 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  41 

When  overstrained,  and  this  I  fear  in  him. 

And  then  he  has  been  rash  from  his  youth  upwards, 

Yet  tempered  by  redeeming  nobleness 

In  such  sort,  that  the  wariest  of  repubhcs 

Has  lavished  all  its  chief  employs  upon  him, 

From  his  first  fight  to  his  last  embassy, 

From  which  on  his  return  the  dukedom  met  him. 


But  previous  to  this  marriage,  had  your  heart 
Ne'er  beat  for  any  of  the  noble  youth. 
Such  as  in  years  had  been  more  meet  to  match 
Beauty  Uke  yours  ?  or  since  have  you  ne'er  seen 
One,  who,  if  your  fair  hand  were  stUl  to  give. 
Might  now  pretend  to  Loredano's  daughter  ? 


I  answer'd  your  first  question  when  I  said 
I  married. 


And  the  second  ? 


Needs  no  answer. 


I  pray  you  pardon,  if  I  have  offended. 


I  feel  no  wrath,  but  some  surprise :  I  knew  not 
That  wedded  bosoms  could  permit  themselves 
To  ponder  upon  what  they  now  might  choose. 
Or  aught  save  their  past  choice. 


'Tis  their  past  choice 

42  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii. 

That  far  too  often  makes  them  deem  they  would 
Now  choose  more  wisely,  could  they  cancel  it. 


It  may  be  so.     I  knew  not  of  such  thoughts. 


Here  comes  the  Doge — shall  I  retire  ? 


It  may 
Be  better  you  should  quit  me ;  he  seems  rapt 
In  thought. — How  pensively  he  takes  his  way  ! 

[Exit  Maeianna. 

Enter  tlie  Doge,  and  Pieteo. 

DOGE  (miLsing.) 
There  is  a  certain  Philip  Calendaro 
Now  in  the  Arsenal,  who  holds  command 
Of  eighty  men,  and  has  great  influence 
Besides  on  all  the  spirits  of  his  comrades ; 
This  man,  I  hear,  is  bold  and  popular. 
Sudden  and  daring,  and  yet  secret;  'twould 
Be  well  that  he  were  won :  I  needs  must  hope 
That  Israel  Bertuccio  has  secured  him, 
But  fain  would  be 


My  lord,  pray  pardon  me 
For  breaking  in  upon  your  meditation ; 
The  Senator  Bertuccio,  your  kinsman. 
Charged  me  to  follow  and  inquire  your  pleasure 
To  fix  an  hour  when  he  may  speak  with  you. 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  48 


At  sunset. — Stay  a  moment — ^let  me  see — 

Say  in  the  second  hour  of  night.  [Exit  Pietro. 


My  lord ! 


My  dearest  child,  forgive  me — why  delay 
So  long  approaching  me  ? — I  saw  you  not. 


You  were  absorbed  in  thought,  and  he  who  now 
Has  parted  from  you  might  have  words  of  weight 
To  bear  you  from  the  senate. 


From  the  senate  ? 


I  would  not  interrupt  him  in  his  duty 
And  theirs. 


The  senate'^s  duty  !  you  mistake ; 
'Tis  we  who  owe  all  service  to  the  senate. 


I  thought  the  Duke  had  held  command  in  Venice. 


He  shall. — But  let  that  pass. — We  will  be  jocund. 
How  fares  it  with  you  ?  have  you  been  abroad  ? 
The  day  is  overcast,  but  the  calm  wave 
Favours  the  gondolier"'s  light  skimming  oar ; 
Or  have  you  held  a  levee  of  your  friends  ? 
Or  has  your  music  made  you  solitary  ? 
Say — is  there  aught  that  you  would  will  within 
The  litde  sway  now  left  the  Duke  ?  or  auglit 

^  lyiARINO  FALIERO,  act  n. 

Of  fitting  splendour,  or  of  honest  pleasure, 
Social  or  lonely,  that  would  glad  your  heart, 
To  compensate  for  many  a  dull  hour,  wasted 
On  an  old  man  oft  moved  with  many  cares  ? 
Speak,  and  'tis  done. 


You're  ever  kind  to  me — 
I  have  nothing  to  desire,  or  to  request. 
Except  to  see  you  oftener  and  calmer. 




Ay,  calmer,  my  good  lord. — Ah,  why 
Do  you  still  keep  apart,  and  walk  alone. 
And  let  such  strong  emotions  stamp  your  brow. 
As  not  betraying  their  full  import,  yet 
Disclose  too  much  ? 


Disclose  too  much ! — of  what  ? 
What  is  there  to  disclose  ? 


A  heart  so  ill 
At  ease. 


'Tis  nothmg,  child. — But  in  the  state 
You  know  what  daily  cares  oppress  all  those 
Who  govern  this  precarious  commonwealth ; 
Now  suffering  from  the  Genoese  without. 
And  malcontents  within — ^'tis  this  which  makes  me 
More  pensive  and  less  tranquil  than  my  wont. 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  45 


Yet  this  existed  long  before,  and  never 
Till  in  these  late  days  did  I  see  you  thus. 
Forgive  me ;  there  is  something  at  your  heart 
More  than  the  mere  discharge  of  public  duties. 
Which  long  use  and  a  talent  Hke  to  yours 
Have  rendered  light,  nay,  a  necessity, 
To  keep  your  mind  from  stagnating.     'Tis  not 
In  hostile  states,  nor  perils,  thus  to  shake  you ; 
You,  who  have  stood  all  storms  and  never  sunk. 
And  climVd  up  to  the  pinnacle  of  power 
And  never  fainted  by  the  way,  and  stand 
Upon  it,  and  can  look  down  steadily 
Along  the  depth  beneath,  and  ne'er  feel  dizzy. 
Were  Genoa's  galleys  riding  in  the  port, 
Were  civil  fury  raging  in  Saint  Mark's, 
You  are  not  to  be  wrought  on,  but  would  fall. 
As  you  have  risen,  with  an  unalter'd  brow — 
Your  feelings  now  are  of  a  different  kind ; 
Something  has  stung  your  pride,  not  patriotism. 


Pride !  Angiolina  ?  Alas !  none  is  left  me. 


Yes — the  same  sin  that  overthrew  the  angels. 
And  of  all  sins  most  easily  besets 
Mortals  the  nearest  to  the  angelic  nature : 
The  vile  are  only  vain ;  the  great  are  proud. 


I  had  the  pride  of  honour,  of  your  honour. 

Deep  at  my  heart But  let  us  change  the  theme. 

46  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii. 


Ah  no ! — As  I  have  ever  shared  your  kindness 
In  all  things  else,  let  me  not  be  shut  out 
From  your  distress :  were  it  of  public  import, 
You  know  I  never  sought,  would  never  seek 
To  win  a  word  from  you ;  but  feeling  now 
Your  grief  is  private,  it  belongs  .to  me 
To  lighten  or  divide  it.     Since  the  day 
When  foolish  Steno's  ribaldry  detected 
Unfix''d  your  quiet,  you  are  greatly  changed, 
And  I  would  soothe  you  back  to  what  you  were. 


To  what  I  was ! — Have  you  heard  Steno^s  sentence  ? 




A  month's  arrest. 


Is  it  not  enough  ? 


Enough  ! — ^Yes,  for  a  drunken  galley  slave. 
Who,  stung  by  stripes,  may  murmur  at  his  master ; 
But  not  for  a  dehberate,  false,  cool  villain. 
Who  stains  a  lady''s  and  a  prince'^s  honour 
Even  on  the  throne  of  his  authority. 


There  seems  to  me  enough  in  the  conviction 
Of  a  patrician  guilty  of  a  falsehood : 
All  other  punishment  were  light  unto 
His  loss  of  honour. 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  4t^ 


Such  men  have  no  honour ; 
They  have  but  their  vile  lives — and  these  are  spared. 


You  would  not  have  him  die  for  this  offence  ? 


Not  now: — ^being  still  alive,  I'd  have  him  live 
Long  as  Ite  can ;  he  has  ceased  to  merit  death ; 
The  guilty  saved  hath  damn''d  his  hundred  judges, 
And  he  is  pure,  for  now  his  crime  is  theirs. 


Oh !  had  this  false  and  flippant  hbeller 
Shed  his  young  blood  for  his  absurd  lampoon, 
Ne'er  from  that  moment  could  this  breast  have  known 
A  joyous  hour,  or  dreamless  slumber  more. 


Does  not  the  law  of  Heaven  say  blood  for  blood  ? 

And  he  who  taints  kills  more  than  he  who  sheds  it. 

Is  it  the  pain  of  blows,  or  slmme  of  blows, 

That  make  such  deadly  to  the  sense  of  man  ? 

Do  not  the  laws  of  man  say  blood  for  honour  ? 

And  less  than  honour  for  a  little  gold  ? 

Say  not  the  laws  of  nations  blood  for  treason  ? 

Is 't  nothing  to  have  filPd  these  veins  with  poison 

For  their  once  healthful  current  ?  is  it  nothing 

To  have  stain'd  your  name  and  mine  ?  the  noblest  names  ? 

Is 't  nothing  to  have  brought  into  contempt 

A  prince  before  his  people  ?  to  have  faiPd 

In  the  respect  accorded  by  mankind 

To  youth  in  woman,  and  old  age  in  man  ? 

48  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii. 

To  virtue  in  your  sex,  and  dignity 

In  ours  ? — But  let  them  look  to  it  who  have  saved  him. 


Heaven  bids  us  to  forgive  our  enemies. 


Doth  Heaven  forgive  her  own  ?  Is  Satan  saved 
From  wrath  eternal  ? 


Do  not  speak  thus  wildly — 
Heaven  will  alike  forgive  you  and  your  foes. 


Amen !  May  Heaven  forgive  them. 


And  will  you  ? 


Yes,  when  they  are  in  Heaven ! 


And  not  till  then  ? 


What  matters  my  forgiveness  ?  an  old  man's, 

Worn  out,  scom'd,  spumed,  abused ;  what  matters  then 

My  pardon  more  than  my  resentment  ?  both 

Being  weak  and  worthless  ?  I  have  lived  too  long. — 

But  let  us  change  the  argument. — My  child ! 

My  injured  wife,  the  child  of  Loredano, 

The  brave,  the  chivalrous,  how  little  deem'd 

Thy  father,  wedding  thee  unto  his  friend,  , 

That  he  was  Unking  thee  to  shame ! — Alas ! 

Shame  without  sin,  for  thou  art  faultless.     Hadst  thou 

But  had  a  different  husband,  any  husband 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  49 

In  Venice  save  the  Doge,  this  blight,  this  brand, 
This  blasphemy  had  never  fallen  upon  thee. 
So  young,  so  beautiful,  so  good,  so  pure, 
To  suffer  this,  and  yet  be  unavenged  ! 


I  am  too  well  avenged,  for  you  still  love  me, 
And  trust,  and  honour  me ;  and  all  men  know 
That  you  are  just,  and  I  am  true :  what  more 
Could  I  require,  or  you  command  ^ 


'Tis  well. 
And  may  be  better ;  but  whatever  betide, 
Be  thou  at  least  kind  to  my  memory. 


Why  speak  you  thus  ? 


It  is  no  matter  why ; 
But  I  would  still,  whatever  others  think, 
Have  your  respect  both  now  and  in  my  grave. 


Why  should  you  doubt  it  ?  has  it  ever  failed  ? 


Come  hither,  child ;  I  would  a  word  with  you. 
Your  father  was  my  friend ;  unequal  fortune 
Made  him  my  debtor  for  some  courtesies 
Which  bind  the  good  more  firmly :  when,  opprest 
With  his  last  malady,  he  wilPd  our  union, 
It  was  not  to  repay  me,  long  repaid 
Before  by  his  great  loyalty  in  friendship ; 
His  object  was  to  place  your  orphan  beauty 

50  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii. 

In  honourable  safety  from  the  perils, 

Which,  in  this  scorpion  nest  of  vice,  assail 

A  lonely  and  undowered  maid.     I  did  not 

Think  with  him,  but  would  not  oppose  the  thought 

Which  soothed  his  death-bed. 


I  have  not  forgotten 
The  nobleness  with  which  you  bade  me  speak 
If  my  young  heart  held  any  preference 
Which  would  have  made  me  happier ;  nor  your  offer 
To  make  my  dowry  equal  to  the  rank 
Of  aught  in  Venice,  and  forego  all  claim 
My  father's  last  injunction  gave  you. 


'Twas  not  a  foolish  dotard's  vile  caprice. 
Nor  the  false  edge  of  aged  appetite. 
Which  made  me  covetous  of  girlish  beauty. 
And  a  young  bride :  for  in  my  fieriest  youth 
I  sway'd  such  passions ;  nor  was  this  my  age 
Infected  with  that  leprosy  of  lust 
Which  taints  the  hoariest  years  of  vicious  men, 
Making  them  ransack  to  the  very  last 
The  dregs  of  pleasure  for  their  vanished  joys ; 
Or  buy  in  selfish  marriage  some  yovmg  victim. 
Too  helpless  to  refuse  a  state  that 's  honest. 
Too  feeling  not  to  know  herself  a  wretch. 
Our  wedlock  was  not  of  this  sort ;  you  had 
Freedom  from  me  to  choose,  and  urged  in  answer 
Your  father's  choice. 


sc  1.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  51 


I  did  SO ;  I  would  do  so 
In  face  of  earth  and  heaven ;  for  I  have  never       * 
Repented  for  my  sake ;  sometimes  for  yours, 
In  pondering  o'*er  your  late  disquietudes. 


I  knew  my  heart  would  never  treat  you  harshly ; 

I  knew  my  days  could  not  disturb  you  long ; 

And  then  the  daughter  of  my  earliest  friend, 

His  worthy  daughter,  free  to  choose  again, 

Wealthier  and  wiser,  in  the  ripest  bloom 

Of  womanhood,  more  skilful  to  select 

By  passing  these  probationary  years ; 

Inheriting  a  prince's  name  and  riches, 

Secured,  by  the  short  penance  of  enduring 

An  old  man  for  some  summers,  against  all 

That  law's  chicane  or  envious  kinsmen  might 

Have  urged  against  her  right ;  my  best  friend's  child 

Would  choose  more  fitly  in  respect  of  years. 

And  not  less  truly  in  a  faithful  heart. 


My  lord,  I  look'd  but  to  my  father's  wishes, 

Hallow'd  by  his  last  words,  and  to  my  heart 

For  doing  all  its  duties,  and  replying 

With  faith  to  him  with  whom  I  was  affianced. 

Ambitious  hopes  ne'er  cross'd  my  dreams ;  and  should 

The  hour  you  speak  of  come,  it  will  be  seen  so. 


I  do  beUeve  you ;  and  I  know  you  true : 
For  love,  romantic  love,  which  in  my  youth 

E  2 

52  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii. 

I  knew  to  be  illusion,  and  ne'er  saw 

Lasting,  but  often  fatal,  it  had  been 

No  lure  for  me,  in  my  most  passionate  days, 

And  could  not  be  so  now,  did  such  exist. 

But  such  respect,  and  mildly  paid  regard 

As  a  true  feeling  for  your  welfare,  and 

A  free  compliance  with  all  honest  wishes ; 

A  kindness  to  your  virtues,  watchfulness 

Not  shown,  but  shadowing  o'er  such  little  failings 

As  youth  is  apt  in,  so  as  not  to  check 

Rashly,  but  win  you  from  them  ere  you  knew 

You  had  been  won,  but  thought  the  change  your  choice ; 

A  pride  not  in  your  beauty,  but  your  conduct, — 

A  trust  in  you — a  patriarchal  love, 

And  not  a  doting  homage — friendship,  faith — 

Such  estimation  in  your  eyes  as  these 

Might  clfdm,  I  hoped  for. 


And  have  ever  had. 


I  think  SO.     For  the  difference  in  our  years 

You  knew  it,  choosing  me,  and  chose:  I  trusted 

Not  to  my  qualities,  nor  would  have  faith 

In  such,  nor  outward  ornaments  of  nature. 

Were  I  still  in  my  five  and  twentieth  spring ; 

I  trusted  to  the  blood  of  Loredano 

Pure  in  your  veins ;  I  trusted  to  the  soul 

God  gave  you — to  the  truths  your  father  taught  you — 

To  your  belief  in  heaven — to  your  mild  virtues — 

To  your  own  faith  and  honour,  for  my  own. 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  58 


You  have  done  well. — I  thank  you  for  that  trust, 
Which  I  have  never  for  one  moment  ceased 
To  honour  you  the  more  for. 


Where  is  honour, 
Innate  and  precept-strengthen'd,  'tis  the  rock 
Of  faith  connubial ;  where  it  is  not — where 
Light  thoughts  are  lurking,  or  the  vanities 
Of  worldly  pleasure  rankle  in  the  heart. 
Or  sensual  throbs  convulse  it,  well  I  know 
'Twere  hopeless  for  humanity  to  dream 
Of  honesty  in  such  infected  blood. 
Although  'twere  wed  to  him  it  covets  most : 
An  incarnation  of  the  poet's  god 
In  all  his  marble-chisell'd  beauty,  or 
The  demi-deity,  Alcides,  in  * 

His  majesty  of  superhuman  manhood. 
Would  not  suffice  to  bind  where  virtue  is  not ; 
It  is  consistency  which  forms  and  proves  it : 
Vice  cannot  fix,  and  virtue  cannot  change. 
The  once  fall'n  woman  must  for  ever  fall ; 
For  vice  must  have  variety,  while  virtue 
Stands  Hke  the  sun,  and  all  which  rolls  around 
Drinks  life,  and  light,  and  glory  from  her  aspect. 


And  seeing,  feeling  thus  this  truth  in  others, 
(I  pray  you  pardon  me ;)  but  wherefore  yield  you 
To  the  most  fierce  of  fatal  passions,  and 
Disquiet  your  great  thoughts  with  restless  hate 
Of  such  a  thing  as  Steno  ? 

54  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii. 


You  mistake  me. 
It  is  not  Steno  who  could  move  me  thus ; 
Had  it  been  so,  he  should ^but  let  that  pass. 


What  is't  you  feel  so  deeply,  then,  even  now  ? 


The  violated  majesty  of  Venice, 

At  once  insulted  in  her  lord  and  laws. 


Alas !  why  will  you  thus  consider  it  ? 


I  have  thought  on 't  till ^but  let  me  lead  you  back 

To  what  I  urged ;  all  these  things  being  noted, 
I  wedded  you ;  the  world  then  did  me  justice 
Upon  the  motive,  and  my  conduct  proved 
They  did  me  right,  while  yours  was  all  to  praise : 
You  had  all  freedom — all  respect — all  trust 
From  me  and  mine ;  and,  bom  of  those  who  made 
Princes  at  home,  and  swept  kings  from  their  thrones 
On  foreign  shores,  in  all  things  you  appear''d 
Worthy  to  be  our  first  of  native  dames. 


To  what  does  this  conduct  ? 


To  thus  much — that 
A  miscreant'*s  angry  breath  may  blast  it  all —    . 
A  villain,  whom  for  his  unbridled  bearing. 
Even  in  the  midst  of  our  great  festival, 
I  caused  to  be  conducted  forth,  and  taught 
How  to  demean  himself  in  ducal  chambers ; 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  55 

A  wretch  like  this  may  leave  upon  the  wall 
The  blighting  venom  of  his  sweltering  heart, 
And  this  shall  spread  itself  in  general  poison ; 
And  woman''s  innocence,  man''s  honour,  pass 
Into  a  by-word ;  and  the  doubly  felon 
(Who  first  insulted  virgin  modesty 
By  a  gross  aflfront  to  your  attendant  damsels 
Amidst  the  noblest  of  our  dames  in  public) 
Requite  himself  for  his  most  just  expulsion 
By  blackening  pubhcly  his  sovereign's  consort, 
And  be  absolved  by  his  upright  compeers. 


But  he  has  been  condemn''d  into  captivity. 


For  such  as  him  a  dungeon  were  acquittal ; 
And  his  brief  term  of  mock-arrest  will  pass 
Within  a  palace.     But  I  Ve  done  with  him ; 
The  rest  must  be  with  you. 


With  me,  my  lord.** 


Yes,  An^olina.     Do  not  marvel ;  I 

Have  let  this  prey  upon  me  till  I  feel 

My  life  cannot  be  long ;  and  fain  would  have  you 

Regard  the  injunctions  you  will  find  within 

This  scroll  (Giving  her  a  paper) Fear  not ;  they  are 

for  your  advantage : 
Read  them  hereafter  at  the  fitting  hour. 


My  lord,  in  life,  and  after  life,  you  shall 

56  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii. 

Be  honour'*d  still  by  me  :  but  may  your  days 
Be  many  yet — and  happier  than  the  present ! 
This  passion  will  give  way,  and  you  will  be 
Serene,  and  what  you  should  be — what  you  were. 


I  will  be  what  I  should  be,  or  be  nothing ; 

But  never  more — oh !  never,  never  more, 

O'er  the  few  days  or  hours  which  yet  await 

The  blighted  old  age  of  Faliero,  shall 

Sweet  Quiet  shed  her  sunset !     Never  more 

Those  summer  shadows  rising  from  the  past 

Of  a  not  ill-spent  nor  inglorious  life. 

Mellowing  the  last  hours  as  the  night  approaches, 

Shall  soothe  me  to  my  moment  of  long  rest. 

I  had  but  little  more  to  ask,  or  hope. 

Save  the  regards  due  to  the  blood  and  sweat. 

And  the  soul'^s  labour  through  which  I  had  toil''d 

To  make  my  country  honoured.     As  her  servant — 

Her  servant,  though  her  chief — I  would  have  gone 

Down  to  my  fathers  \\ith  a  name  serene 

And  pure  as  theirs ;  but  this  has  been  denied  me. — 

Would  I  had  died  at  Zara ! 


There  you  saved 
The  state ;  then  live  to  save  her  still.     A  day. 
Another  day  like  that  would  be  the  best 
Reproof  to  them,  and  sole  revenge  for  you. 


But  one  such  day  occurs  mthin  an  age ; 
My  life  is  little  less  than  one,  and  'tis 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  W 

Enough  for  Fortune  to  have  granted  once, 
That  which  scarce  one  more  favoured  citizen 
May  win  in  many  states  and  years.     But  why 
Thus  speak  I  ?     Venice  has  forgot  that  day — 
Then  why  should  I  remember  it  ? — Farewell, 
Sweet  Angiolina !  I  must  to  my  cabinet ; 
There's  much  for  me  to  do — and  the  hour  hastens. 


Remember  what  you  were. 


It  were  in  vain  ! 
Joy's  recollection  is  no  longer  joy, 
While  Sorrow's  memory  is  a  sorrow  still. 


At  least,  whate'er  may  urge,  let  me  implore 

That  you  will  take  some  httle  pause  of  rest : 

Your  sleep  for  many  nights  has  been  so  turbid, 

That  it  had  been  reUef  to  have  awaked  you. 

Had  I  not  hoped  that  Nature  would  o'erpower 

At  length  the  thoughts  which  shook  your  slumbers  thus. 

An  hour  of  rest  will  give  you  to  your  toils 

With  fitter  thoughts  and  freshen'd  strength. 


I  cannot — 
I  must  not,  if  I  could ;  for  never  was 
Such  reason  to  be  watchful :  yet  a  few — 
Yet  a  few  days  and  dream-perturbed  nights, 
And  I  shall  slumber  well — ^but  where  ? — ^no  matter. 
Adieu,  my  Angiolina. 


Let  me  be 

58  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii. 

An  instant — ^yet  an  instant  your  companion ; 
I  cannot  bear  to  leave  you  thus. 


Come  then, 
My  gentle  child — ^forgive  me ;  thou  wert  made 
For  better  fortunes  than  to  share  in  mine, 
Now  darkling  in  their  close  toward  the  deep  vale 
Where  Death  sits  robed  in  his  all-sweeping  shadow. 
When  I  am  gone — it  may  be  sooner  than 
Even  these  years  warrant,  for  there  is  that  stirring 
Within — ^above — around,  that  in  this  city 
Will  make  the  cemeteries  populous 
As  e''er  they  were  by  pestilence  or  war, — 
When  I  am  nothing,  let  that  which  I  was 
Be  still  sometimes  a  name  on  thy  sweet  lips, 
A  shadow  in  thy  fancy,  of  a  thing 
Which  would  not  have  thee  mourn  it,  but  remember  ;^- 
Let  us  begone,  my  child — the  time  is  pressing. 



A  retired  Spot  near  the  Arsenal. 
Israel  Beetuccio  and  Philip  Calendaro. 


How  sped  you,  Israel,  in  your  late  complaint  ? 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  I 


Why,  well. 


Is  ''t  possible  I  will  he  be  punish'd  ? 




With  what  ?  a  mulct  or  an  arrest  ? 


With  death !—  ••* 


Now  you  rave,  or  must  intend  revenge, 

Such  as  I  counsell''d  you,  with  your  own  hand. 


Yes ;  and  for  one  sole  draught  of  hate,  forego 

The  great  redress  we  meditate  for  Venice, 

And  change  a  Hfe  of  hope  for  one  of  exile ; 

Leaving  one  scorpion  crushed,  and  thousands  stinging 

My  friends,  my  family,  my  countrymen  ! 

No,  Calendaro ;  these  same  drops  of  blood, 

Shed  shamefully,  shall  have  the  whole  of  liis 

For  their  requital But  not  only  his ; 

We  will  not  strike  for  private  wrongs  alone : 
Such  are  for  selfish  passions  and  rash  men. 
But  are  unworthy  a  tyrannicide. 


You  have  more  patience  than  I  care  to  boast. 
Had  I  been  present  when  you  bore  this  insult, 
I  must  have  slain  him,  or  expired  myself 
In  the  vmn  effort  to  repress  my  wrath. 


6d  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii- 


Thank  Heaven,  you  were  not — all  had  else  been  marr''d : 
As  'tis,  our  cause  looks  prosperous  still. 


You  saw 
The  Doge — what  answer  gave  he  ? 


That  there  was 
No  punishment  for  such  as  Barbaro. 


I  told  you  so  before,  and  that  'twas  idle 
To  think  of  justice  from  such  hands. 


At  least. 
It  lull'd  suspicion,  showing  confidence. 
Had  I  been  silent,  not  a  Sbirro  but 
Had  kept  me  in  his  eye,  as  meditating 
A  silent,  sohtary,  deep  revenge. 


But  wherefore  not  address  you  to  the  Council  ? 
The  Doge  is  a  mere  puppet,  who  can  scarce 
Obtain  right  for  himself.     Why  speak  to  him  ? 


You  shall  know  that  hereafter. 


Why  not  now  ? 


Be  patient  but  till  midnight.     Get  your  musters. 
And  bid  our  friends  prepare  their  companies : — 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  61 

Set  all  in  readiness  to  strike  the  blow. 
Perhaps  in  a  few  hours ;  we  have  long  waited 
For  a  fit  time — that  hour  is  on  the  dial, 
It  may  be,  of  to-morrow's  sun :  delay 
Beyond  may  breed  us  double  danger.     See 
That  all  be  punctual  at  our  place  of  meeting, 
And  armM,  excepting  those  of  the  Sixteen, 
Who  will  remain  among  the  troops  to  wait 
The  signal. 


These  brave  words  have  breathed  new  life 
Into  my  veins ;  I  am  sick  of  these  protracted 
And  hesitating  councils :  day  on  day 
CrawPd  on,  and  added  but  another  link 
To  our  long  fetters,  and  some  fresher  wrong 
Inflicted  on  our  brethren  or  ourselves. 
Helping  to  swell  our  tyrants'  bloated  strength. 
Let  us  but  deal  upon  them,  and  I  care  not 
For  the  result,  which  must  be  death  or  freedom ! 
I'm  weary  to  the  heart  of  finding  neither. 


We  will  be  free  in  life  or  death  !  the  grave 
Is  chainless.     Have  you  all  the  musters  ready  ? 
And  are  the  sixteen  companies  completed 
To  sixty  ? 


All  save  two,  in  which  there  are 
Twenty-five  wanting  to  make  up  the  number. 


No  matter ;  we  can  do  without.     Whose  are  they  ? 

62  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  u 


Bertram's  and  old  Soranzo's,  both  of  whom 
Appear  less  forward  in  the  cause  than  we  are. 


Your  fiery  nature  makes  you  deem  all  those 
Who  are  not  restless,  cold :  but  there  exists 
Oft  in  concentred  spirits,  not  less  daring 
Than  in  more  loud  avengers.     Do  not  doubt  them. 


I  do  not  doubt  the  elder ;  but  in  Bertram 

There  is  a  hesitating  softness,  fatal 

To  enterprise  like  ours :  I  Ve  seen  that  man 

Weep  like  an  infant  o'er  the  misery 

Of  others,  heedless  of  his  own,  though  greater ; 

And  in  a  recent  quarrel  I  beheld  him 

Turn  sick  at  sight  of  blood,  although  a  villain's. 


The  truly  brave  are  soft  of  heart  and  eyes. 

And  feel  for  what  their  duty  bids  them  do. 

I  have  known  Bertram  long;  there  doth  not  breathe 

A  soul  more  full  of  honour. 


It  may  be  so  : 
I  apprehend  less  treachery  than  weakness ; 
Yet  as  he  has  no  mistress,  and  no  wife 
To  work  upon  his  milkiness  of  spirit, 
He  may  go  through  the  ordeal ;  it  is  well 
He  is  an  orphan,  friendless  save  in  us : 
A  woman  or  a  child  had  made  him  less 
Than  either  in  resolve. 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  6S 


Such  ties  are  not 
For  those  who  are  calPd  to  the  high  destinies 
Which  purify  corrupted  commonwealths ; 
We  must  forget  all  feelings  save  the  one — 
We  must  resign  all  passions  save  our  purpose — 
We  must  behold  no  object  save  our  country — 
And  only  look  on  death  as  beautiful, 
So  that  the  sacrifice  ascend  to  heaven,- 
And  draw  down  freedom  on  her  evermore. 


But  if  we  fail. 


They  never  fail  who  die 
In  a  great  cause :  the  block  may  soak  their  gore ; 
Their  heads  may  sodden  in  the  sun ;  their  limbs 
Be  strung  to  city  gates  and  castle  walls — 
But  still  their  spirit  walks  abroad.     Though  years 
Elapse,  and  others  share  as  dark  a  doom. 
They  but  augment  the  deep  and  sweeping  thoughts 
Which  overpower  all  others,  and  conduct 
The  world  at  last  to  freedom :  What  were  we. 
If  Brutus  had  not  hved  ?  He  died  in  giving 
Rome  hberty,  but  left  a  deathless  lesson — 
A  name  which  is  a  virtue,  and  a  soul 
Which  multiplies  itself  throughout  all  time, 
When  wicked  men  wax  mighty,  and  a  state 
Turns  servile :  he  and  his  high  friend  were  styled 
"  The  last  of  Romans  r  Let  us  be  the  first 
Of  true  Venetians,  sprung  from  Roman  sires. 

64  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ti, 


Our  fathers  did  not  fly  from  Attila 

Into  these  isles,  where  palaces  have  sprung 

On  banks  redeemed  from  the  rude  ocean's  ooze> 

To  own  a  thousand  despots  in  his  place. 

Better  bow  down  before  the  Hun,  and  call 

A  Tartar  lord,  than  these  swoln  silkworms  masters ! 

The  first  at  least  was  man,  and  used  his  sword 

As  sceptre :  these  unmanly  creeping  things 

Command  our  swords,  and  rule  us  with  a  word 

As  with  a  spell. 


It  shall  be  broken  soon. 
You  say  that  all  things  are  in  readiness ; 
To-day  I  have  not  been  the  usual  round, 
And  why  thou  knowest ;  but  thy  vigilance 
Will  better  have  suppUed  my  care :  these  orders 
In  recent  council  to  redouble  now 
Our  efforts  to  repair  the  galleys,  have 
Lent  a  fair  colour  to  the  introduction 
Of  many  of  our  cause  into  the  arsenal. 
As  new  artificers  for  their  equipment. 
Or  fresh  recruits  obtain"'d  in  haste  to  man 
The  hoped-for  fleet. — Are  all  suppUed  with  arms  ? 


All  who  were  deemed  trustworthy :  there  are  some 

Whom  it  were  well  to  keep  in  ignorance 

Till  it  be  time  to  strike,  and  then  supply  them ; 

When  in  the  heat  and  hurry  of  the  hour 

They  have  no  opportunity  to  pause, 

But  needs  must  on  with  those  who  will  surround  them. 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  65 


You  have  said  well. — Have  you  remarked  all  such  ? 


I  've  noted  most ;  and  caused  the  other  chiefs 
To  use  like  caution  in  their  companies. 
As  far  as  I  have  seen,  we  are  enough 
To  make  the  enterprise  secure,  if  "'tis 
Commenced  to-morrow ;  but,  till  'tis  begun. 
Each  hour  is  pregnant  with  a  thousand  perils. 


Let  the  Sixteen  meet  at  the  wonted  hour, 
Except  Soranzo,  Nicoletto  Blondo, 
And  Marco  Giuda,  who  will  keep  their  watch 
Within  the  arsenal,  and  hold  all  ready, 
Expectant  of  the  signal  we  will  fix  on. 


We  will  not  fail. 


Let  all  the  rest  be  there ; 
I  have  a  stranger  to  present  to  them. 


A  stranger !  doth  he  know  the  secret  ? 




And  have  you  dared  to  peril  your  friends'  lives 
On  a  rash  confidence  in  one  we  know  not  ? 


I  have  risked  no  man's  Ufe  except  my  own — 
Of  that  be  certain  :  he  is  one  who  may 

66  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ii. 

Make  our  assurance  doubly  sure,  according 
His  aid ;  and  if  reluctant,  he  no  less 
Is  in  our  power :  he  comes  alone  with  me, 
And  cannot  'scape  us ;  but  he  will  not  swerve. 


I  cannot  judge  of  this  until  I  know  him  : 
Is  he  one  of  our  order  ? 


Ay,  in  spirit, 
Although  a  child  of  greatness ;  he  is  one 
Who  would  become  a  throne,  or  overtlirow  one — 
One  who  has  done  great  deeds,  and  seen  great  changes ; 
No  tyrant,  though  bred  up  to  tyranny ; 
Valiant  in  war,  and  sage  in  council ;  noble 
In  nature,  although  haughty ;  quick,  yet  wary  : 
Yet  for  all  this,  so  full  of  certain  passions, 
That  if  once  stirr'd  and  baffled,  as  he  has  been 
Upon  the  tenderest  points,  there  is  no  Fury 
In  Grecian  story  like  to  that  which  wrings 
His  vitals  with  her  burning  hands,  till  he 
Grows  capable  of  all  things  for  revenge ; 
And  add  too,  that  his  mind  is  liberal. 
He  sees  and  feels  the  people  are  oppressed. 
And  shares  their  sufferings.     Take  him  all  in  all, 
We  have  need  of  such,  and  such  have  need  of  us. 


And  what  part  would  you  have  him  take  with  us  ? 


It  may  be,  that  of  chief. 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  67 


What !  and  resign  , 

Your  own  command  as  leader  ? 


Even  so. 
My  object  is  to  make  your  cause  end  well, 
And  not  to  push  myself  to  power.     Experience, 
Some  skill,  and  your  own  choice,  had  mark'd  me  out 
To  act  in  trust  as  your  commander,  till 
Some  worthier  should  appear :  if  I  have  found  such 
As  you  yourselves  shall  own  more  worthy,  think  you 
That  I  would  hesitate  from  selfishness, 
And,  covetous  of  brief  authority, 
Stake  our  deep  interest  on  my  single  thoughts. 
Rather  than  yield  to  one  above  me  in 
All  leading  qualities  ?  No,  Calendaro, 
Know  your  friend  better ;  but  you  all  shall  judge. — 
Away  !  and  let  us  meet  at  the  fixM  hour. 
Be  vigilant,  and  all  will  yet  go  well. 


Worthy  Bertuccio,  I  have  known  you  ever 

Trusty  and  brave,  with  head  and  heai't  to  plan 

What  I  have  still  been  prompt  to  execute. 

For  my  own  part,  I  seek  no  other  chief; 

What  the  rest  will  decide  I  know  not,  but 

I  am  with  you,  as  I  have  ever  been. 

In  all  our  undertakings.     Now  farewell, 

Until  the  hour  of  midnight  sees  us  meet.  [Exeunt. 

KND    OF    ACT    II. 

G8  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  hi. 

ACT  III.     SCENE  I. 

Scene^  the  Space  between  the  Canal  and  the  Church  of 
San  Giovanni  e  San  Paolo.  Aji  equestrian  Statue 
before  it. — A  Gondola  lies  in  the  Canal  at  some 

Enter  the  Doge  ulwie.,  duguised. 

DOGE  (sohi^.) 
I  am  before  tlie  hour,  the  hour  whose  voice, 
Peahn<^  into  the  arch  of  night,  might  strike 
These  palaces  with  ominous  tottering, 
And  rock  their  marbles  to  the  comer-stone. 
Waking  the  sleepers  from  some  hideous  dream 
Of  indistinct  but  awful  augury 
Of  that  which  will  befal  them.     Yes,  proud  city  ! 
Thou  must  be  cleansed  of  the  black  blood  whicli  makes 

A  lazar-house  of  tyranny  :  the  task 
Is  forced  upon  me,  I  have  sought  it  not ; 
And  therefore  was  I  punish'd,  seeing  this 
Patrician  pestilence  spread  on  and  on. 
Until  at  length  it  smote  me  in  my  slumbers. 
And  I  am  tainted,  and  must  wash  away    ' 
The  plague-spots  in  the  healing  wave.     Tall  fane  ! 
Where  sleep  my  fathers,  whose  dim  statues  shadow 
The  floor  Avhich  doth  divide  us  from  the  dead. 
Where  all  the  pregnant  hearts  of  our  bold  blood, 
Moulder"'d  into  a  mite  of  ashes,  hold 
In  one  shrunk  heap  what  once  made  many  heroes, 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  CD 

When  what  is  now  a  handful  shook  tlie  earth — 

Fane  of  the  tutelar  saints  who  guard  our  house  ! 

Vault  where  two  Doges  rest — my  sires !  who  died 

The  one  of  toil,  the  other  in  the  field, 

With  a  long  race  of  other  lineal  chiefs 

And  sages,  whose  great  labours,  wounds,  and  state 

I  have  inherite(^, — let  the  graves  gape, 

Till  all  thine  aisles  be  peopled  with  the  dead. 

And  pour  them  from  thy  portals  to  gaze  on  me ! 

I  call  them  up,  and  them  and  thee  to  witness 

What  it  hath  been  which  put  me  to  this  task — 

Their  pure  high  blood,  their  blazon-roll  of  glories, 

Their  mighty  name  dishonour^  all  in  me, 

Not  1)1/  me,  but  by  the  ungrateful  nobles 

We  fought  to  make  our  equals,  not  our  lords : — 

And  chiefly  thou,  Ordelafo  the  brave. 

Who  perished  in  the  field,  where  I  since  conquered, 

Battling  at  Zara,  did  the  hecatombs 

Of  thine  and  Venice'  foes,  there  offered  up 

By  thy  descendant,  merit  such  acquittance  ? 

Spirits !  smile  down  upon  me ;  for  my  cause 

Is  yours,  in  all  life  now  can  be  of  yours, — 

Your  fame,  your  name,  all  mingled  up  in  mine, 

And  in  the  future  fortunes  of  our  race  ! 

Let  me  but  prosper,  and  I  make  this  city 

Free  and  immortal,  and  our  house's  name 

AVorthier  of  what  you  were,  now  and  hereafter  ! 

Enter  Israel  Bertuccio. 


Who  goes  there  f 

70  MARINO  FALIERO,  ACT  ill. 


A  friend  to  Venice. 


'Tis  he. 
Welcome,  my  lord, — ^you  are  before  the  time. 


I  am  ready  to  proceed  to  your  assembly. 


Have  with  you. — I  am  proud  and  pleased  to  see  -^ 

Such  confident  alacrity.     Your  doubts 
Since  our  last  meeting,  then,  are  all  dispelPd  ? 


Not  so — ^but  I  have  set  my  little  left 
Of  life  upon  this  cast :  the  die  was  thrown 
When  I  first  listened  to  your  treason — Start  not ! 
TJiat  is  the  word ;  I  cannot  shape  my  tongue 
To  syllable  black  deeds  into  smooth  names. 
Though  I  be  wrought  on  to  commit  them.     When 
I  heard  you  tempt  your  sovereign,  and  forbore 
To  have  you  dragged  to  prison,  I  became 
Your  guiltiest  accomplice :  now  you  may. 
If  it  so  please  you,  do  as  much  by  me. 


Strange  words,  my  lord,  and  most  unmerited ; 
I  am  no  spy,  and  neither  are  we  traitors. 


We — We! — ^no  matter — ^you  have  earn''d  the  right. 
To  talk  of  us. — But  to  the  point. — If  this 
Attempt  succeeds,  and  Venice,  renderM  free 
And  flourishing,  when  we  are  in  our  graves. 

SC.  r.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  71 

Conducts  her  generations  to  our  tombs, 

And  makes  her  children  with  their  little  hands 

Strew  flowers  o'er  her  deliverers'*  ashes,  then 

The  consequence  Avill  sanctify  the  deed, 

And  we  shall  be  Uke  the  two  Bruti  in 

The  annals  of  hereafter ;  but  if  not, 

If  we  should  fail,  employing  bloody  means 

And  secret  plot,  although  to  a  good  end, 

Still  we  are  traitors,  honest  Israel ; — thou 

No  less  than  he  who  was  thy  sovereign 

Six  hours  ago,  and  now  thy  brother  rebel. 


'Tis  not  the  moment  to  consider  thus, 

Else  I  could  answer. — Let  us  to  the  meeting. 

Or  we  may  be  observed  in  lingering  here. 


We  a/re  observed,  and  have  been. 


We  observed ! 
Let  me  discover — and  this  steel 


Put  up ; 
Here  are  no  human  witnesses  :  look  there — 
What  see  you .? 


Only  a  tall  warrior's  statue 
Bestriding  a  proud  steed,  in  the  dim  light 
Of  the  dull  moon. 


That  warrior  was  the  siie 

72  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  hi. 

Of  my  sire''s  fathers,  and  that  statue  was 
Decreed  to  him  by  the  twice  rescued  city  : — 
Think  you  that  he  looks  down  on  us,  or  no  ? 


My  lord,  these  are  mere  phantasies ;  there  are 
No  eyes  in  marble. 


But  there  are  in  Death. 
I  tell  thee,  man,  there  is  a  spirit  in  ) 

Such  things  that  acts  and  sees,  unseen,  though  felt ; 
And,  if  there  be  a  spell  to  stir  the  dead, 
""Tis  in  such  deeds  as  we  are  now  upon. 
Deem'st  thou  the  souls  of  such  a  race  as  mine 
Can  rest,  when  he,  their  last  descendant  chief, 
Stands  plotting  on  the  brink  of  their  pure  graves 
With  stung  plebeians  ? 


It  had  been  as  well 
To  have  ponder'd  this  before, — ere  you  embark'^d 
In  our  great  enterprize. — Do  you  repent  ? 


No — ^liut  IJeel,  and  shall  do  to  the  last. 

I  cannot  quench  a  glorious  life  at  once. 

Nor  dwindle  to  the  thing  I  now  must  be. 

And  take  men's  lives  by  stealth,  without  some  pause : 

Yet  doubt  me  not ;  it  is  this  very  feeling. 

And  knowing  wluit  has  wi'ung  me  to  be  thus, 

Which  is  your  best  security.  There 's  not 

A  roused  mechanic  in  your  busy  plot 

So  wrong'd  as  I,  so  fallen,  so  loudly  ciill\] 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  73 

To  his  redress :  the  very  means  I  am  forced 
By  these  fell  tyrants  to  adopt  is  such, 
That  I  abhor  them  doubly  for  the  deeds 
Which  I  must  do  to  pay  them  back  for  theirs 


Let  us  away — hark — tJie  hour  strikes. 


On— On— - 
It  is  our  knell,  or  that  of  Venice. — On. 


Say  rather,  'tis  her  freedom's  rising  peal 

Of  triumph This  way — we  are  near  the  place. 



Tlie  House  where  the  Conspirators  meet. 

Dagolino,  Doeo,  Bertram,  Fedele  Trevisano, 
Calendaro,  Antonio  delle  Bende,  &c.  &c. 

calendaro  (entering".) 
Are  all  here  ? 


All  with  you ;  except  the  three 
On  duty,  and  our  leader  Israel, 
Who  is  expected  momently. 


Where's  Bertram  ? 


Here ! 



Have  yoii  not  been  able  to  complete 
The  number  wanting  in  your  company  ? 


I  had  mark'd  out  some :  but  I  have  not  dared 
To  trust  them  with  the  secret,  till  assured 
That  they  were  worthy  faith. 


There  is  no  need 
Of  trusting  to  their  faith :  who,  save  ourselves 
And  our  more  chosen  comrades,  is  aware 
Fully  of  our  intent  ?  they  think  themselves  (3) 
Engaged  in  secret  to  the  Signory, 
To  punish  some  more  dissolute  young  nobles 
Who  have  defied  the  law  in  their  excesses ; 
But  once  drawn  up,  and  their  new  swords  weU-flesh'd 
In  the  rank  hearts  of  the  more  odious  senators. 
They  will  not  hesitate  to  follow  up 
Their  blow  upon  the  others,  when  they  see 
The  example  of  their  chiefs,  and  I  for  one 
Will  set  them  such,  that  they  for  very  shame 
And  safety  will  not  pause  till  all  have  perish'd. 


How  say  you .?  all ! 


Whom  wouldst  thou  spare  ? 


/  »pare  f 
I  have  no  power  to  spare.     I  only  question^. 
Thinking  that  even  amongst  these  wicked  men 

sc.  ir.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  75 

There  might  be  some,  whose  age  and  qualities 
Might  mark  them  out  for  pity. 


Yes,  such  pity 
As  when  the  viper  hath  been  cut  to  pieces, 
The  separate  fragments  quivering  in  the  sun 
In  the  last  energy  of  venomous  life, 
Deserve  and  have.     Why,  I  should  think  as  soon 
Of  pitying  some  particular  fang  which  made 
One  in  the  jaw  of  the  swoln  serpent,  as 
Of  saving  one  of  these :  they  form  but  links 
Of  one  long  chain ;  one  mass,  one  breath,  one  body ; 
They  eat,  and  drink,  and  live,  and  breed  together, 
Revel,  and  lie,  oppress,  and  kill  in  concert, — 
So  let  them  die  as  one ! 


Should  one  survive, 
He  would  be  dangerous  as  the  whole ;  it  is  not 
Their  number,  be  it  tens  or  thousands,  but 
The  spirit  of  this  aristocracy 
Which  must  be  rooted  out ;  and  if  there  were 
A  single  shoot  of  the  old  tree  in  life, 
'T  would  fasten  in  the  soil,  and  spring  again 
To  gloomy  verdure  and  to  bitter  fruit. 
Bertram,  we  must  be  firm  ! 


Look  to  it  well, 
Bertram ;  I  have  an  eye  upon  thee. 


Distrusts  me  ^ 

W  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  ih. 


Not  I ;  for  if  I  did  so, 
Thou  wouldst  not  now  be  there  to  talk  of  trust : 
It  is  thy  softness,  not  thy  want  of  faith. 
Which  makes  thee  to  be  doubted. 


You  should  know 
Who  hear  me,  who  and  what  I  am ;  a  man 
Roused  like  yourselves  to  overthrow  oppression  ; 
A  kind  man,  I  am  apt  to  think,  as  some 
Of  you  have  found  me ;  and  if  brave  or  no. 
You,  Calendaro,  can  pronounce,  who  have  seen  me 
Put  to  the  proof;  or,  if  you  should  have  doubts, 
I'll  clear  them  on  your  person  ! 


You  are  welcome. 
When  once  our  enterprise  is  o'er,  which  must  not 
Be  interrupted  by  a  private  brawl. 


I  am  no  brawler ;  but  can  bear  myself 

As  far  among  the  foe  as  any  he 

Who  hears  me ;  else  why  have  I  been  selected 

To  be  of  your  chief  comrades  ?  but  no  less 

I  own  my  natural  weakness ;  I  have  not 

Yet  leam'd  to  think  of  indiscriminate  murder 

Without  some  sense  of  shuddering ;  and  the  sight 

Of  blood  which  spouts  through  hoary  scalps  is  not 

To  me  a  thing  of  triumph,  nor  the  death 

Of  men  surprised  a  glory.     Well — too  well 

I  know  that  we  must  do  such  things  on  those 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  77 

Whose  acts  have  raised  up  such  avengers ;  but 
If  there  were  some  of  these  who  could  be  saved 
From  out  this  sweeping  fate,  for  our  own  sakes 
And  for  our  honour,  to  take  off  some  stain 
Of  massacre,  which  else  pollutes  it  wholly, 
I  had  been  glad ;  and  see  no  cause  in  this 
For  sneer,  nor  for  suspicion ! 


Calm  thee,  Bertram ; 
For  we  suspect  thee  not,  and  take  good  heart. 
It  is  the  cause,  and  not  our  will,  which  asks 
Such  actions  from  our  hands :  we ''11  wash  away 
All  stains  in  Freedom''s  fountain ! 

Enter  Israel  Bertuccio  and  tlie  Doge,  disguised, 


Welcome,  Israel. 


Most  welcome. — Brave  Bertuccio,  thou  art  late — 
Who  is  this  stranger  ? 

It  is  time  to  name  him. 
Our  comrades  are  even  now  prepared  to  greet  him 
In  brotherhood,  as  I  have  made  it  known 
That  thou  wouldst  add  a  brother  to  our  cause, 
Approved  by  thee,  and  thus  approved  by  all. 
Such  is  our  trust  in  all  thine  actions.     Now 
Let  him  unfold  himself. 


Stranger,  step  forth ! 
yVhe  Doge  discovers  himself. 

78  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  hi. 


To  arms  ! — we  are  betray M — it  is  the  Doge  ! 
Down  with  them  both !  our  traitorous  captain,  and 
The  tyrant  he  hath  sold  us  to  ! 

CALENDARO  (drawing  his  sword.) 
Hold!  Hold! 
Who  moves  a  step  against  them  dies.     Hold  !  hear 
Bertuccio — What !  are  you  appall'd  to  see 
A  lone,  unguarded,  weaponless  old  man 
Amongst  you  ? — Israel,  speak !  what  means  this  mystery  ? 


Let  them  advance  and  strike  at  their  own  bosoms. 

Ungrateful  suicides  !  for  on  our  lives 

Depend  their  own,  their  fortunes,  and  their  hopes. 


Strike ! — If  I  dreaded  death,  a  death  more  fearful 

Than  any  your  rash  weapons  can  inflict, 

I  should  not  now  be  here  : — Oh,  noble  Courage  ! 

The  eldest  bom  of  Fear,  which  makes  you  brave 

Against  this  sohtary  hoary  head ! 

See  the  bold  chiefs,  who  would  reform  a  state 

And  shake  down  senates,  mad  with  wrath  and  dread 

At  sight  of  one  patrician. — Butcher  me. 

You  can ;  I  care  not. — Israel,  are  these  men 

The  mighty  hearts  you  spoke  of?  look  upon  them  ! 


Faith  !  he  hath  shamed  us,  and  deservedly. 
Was  this  your  trust  in  your  true  Chief  Bertuccio, 
To  turn  your  swords  against  him  and  his  guest  ? 
Sheathe  them,  and  hear  him. 

SC.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  79 


I  disdain  to  speak. 
They  might  and  must  have  known  a  heart  like  mine 
Incapable  of  treachery  ;  and  the  power 
They  gave  me  to  adopt  all  fitting  means 
To  further  their  design  was  ne'er  abused. 
They  might  be  certain  that  whoe'er  was  brought 
By  me  into  this  council,  had  been  led 
To  take  his  choice — as  brother,  or  as  victim. 


And  which  am  I  to  be .''  your  actions  leave 
Some  cause  to  doubt  the  freedom  of  the  choice. 


My  lord,  we  would  have  perish'd  here  together, 
Had  these  rash  men  proceeded ;  but,  behold. 
They  are  ashamed  of  that  mad  moment's  impulse. 
And  droop  their  heads ;  believe  me,  they  are  such 
As  I  described  them — Speak  to  them. 


Ay,  speak ; 
We  are  all  listening  in  wonder. 


Addressing  the  Conspirators. 
'  You  are  safe, 

Nay,  more,  almost  triumphant — listen  then. 
And  know  my  words  for  truth. 


You  see  me  here. 
As  one  of  you  hath  said,  an  old,  unarm'd. 
Defenceless  man ;  and  yesterday  you  saw  me 


Presiding  in  the  hall  of  ducal  state, 

Apparent  sovereign  of  our  hundred  isles, 

Robed  in  official  purple,  dealing  out 

The  edicts  of  a  power  which  is  not  mine. 

Nor  yours,  but  of  our  masters — the  patricians. 

Why  I  was  there  you  know,  or  think  you  know ; 

Why  I  am  here,  he  who  hath  been  most  wrong'd, 

He  who  among  you  hath  been  most  insulted, 

Outraged  and  trodden  on,  until  he  doubt 

If  he  be  worm  or  no,  may  answer  for  me. 

Asking  of  his  own  heart  what  brought  him  here  ? 

You  know  my  recent  story,  all  men  know  it, 

And  judge  of  it  far  differently  from  those 

Who  sate  in  judgment  to  heap  scorn  on  scorn. 

But  spare  me  the  recital — it  is  here. 

Here  at  my  heart  the  outrage — but  my  words, 

Already  spent  in  unavailing  plaints. 

Would  only  show  my  feebleness  the  more. 

And  I  come  here  to  strengthen  even  the  strong. 

And  urge  them  on  to  deeds,  and  not  to  war 

With  woman''s  weapons ;  but  I  need  not  urge  you. 

Our  private  wrongs  have  sprung  from  public  vices 

In  this — I  cannot  call  it  commonwealth 

Nor  kingdom,  which  hath  neither  prince  nor  people. 

But  all  the  sins  of  the  old  Spartan  state 

Without  its  virtues — temperance  and  valour. 

The  lords  of  Lacedemon  were  true  soldiers. 

But  ours  are  Sybarites,  while  we  are  Helots, 

Of  whom  I  am  the  lowest,  most  enslaved, 

Although  drest  out  to  head  a  pageant,  as 

sc.  n.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  81 

The  Greeks  of  yore  made  drunk  their  slaves  to  form 

A  pastime  for  their  children.     You  are  met 

To  overthrow  this  monster  of  a  state, 

This  mockery  of  a  government,  this  spectre. 

Which  must  be  exorcised  with  blood,  and  then 

We  will  renew  the  times  of  truth  and  justice. 

Condensing  in  a  fair  free  commonwealth 

Not  rash  equality  but  equal  rights, 

Proportion''d  like  the  columns  to  the  temple, 

Giving  and  taking  strength  reciprocal. 

And  making  firm  the  whole  with  grace  and  beauty, 

So  that  no  part  could  be  removed  without 

Infringement  of  the  general  symmetry. 

In  operating  this  great  change,  I  claim 

To  be  one  of  you — if  you  tru^t  in  me ; 

If  not,  strike  home, — my  life  is  compromised. 

And  I  would  rather  fall  by  freemen''s  hands 

Than  live  another  day  to  act  the  tyrant 

As  delegate  of  tyrants ;  such  I  am  not. 

And  never  have  been — ^read  it  in  our  annals ; 

I  can  appeal  to  my  past  government 

In  many  lands  and  cities ;  they  can  tell  you 

If  I  were  an  oppressor,  or  a  man 

Feeling  and  thinking  for  my  fellow  men. 

Haply  had  I  been  what  the  senate  sought, 

A  thing  of  robes  and  trinkets,  dizen'd  out 

To  sit  in  state  as  for  a  sovereign's  picture ; 

A  popular  scourge,  a  ready  sentence-signer, 

A  stickler  for  the  Senate  and  "  the  Forty,*" 

82  MARINO  FALIERO,  ACT  ill. 

A  sceptic  of  all  measures  which  had  not 

The  sanction  of  "  The  Ten,''  a  council-fawner, 

A  tool,  a  fool,  a  puppet, — they  had  ne''er 

Fostered  the  wretch  who  stung  me.     What  I  suffer 

Has  reached  me  through  my  pity  for  the  people ; 

That  many  know,  and  they  who  know  not  yet 

Will  one  day  learn :  meantime,  I  do  devote, 

Whatever  the  issue,  my  last  days  of  life — 

My  present  power  such  as  it  is,  not  that 

Of  Doge,  but  of  a  man  who  has  been  great 

Before  he  was  degraded  to  a  Doge, 

And  still  has  individual  means  and  mind ; 

I  stake  my  fame  (and  I  had  fame) — my  breath — 

(The  least  of  all,  for  its  last  hours  are  nigh) 

My  heart — my  hope — ^my  soul — upon  this  cast ! 

Such  as  I  am,  I  offer  me  to  you 

And  to  your  chiefs,  accept  me  or  reject  me, 

A  Prince  who  fain  would  be  a  citizen 

Or  nothing,  and  who  has  left  his  throne  to  be  so. 


Long  hve  FaUero ! — Venice  shall  be  free  ! 


Long  live  Faliero ! 


Comrades  !  did  I  well  ? 
Is  not  this  man  a  host  in  such  a  cause  .'* 


This  is  no  time  for  eulogies,  nor  place 
For  exultation.     Am  I  one  of  you  ? 

8C.  It.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  83 


Ay,  and  the  first  amongst  us,  as  thou  hast  been 
Of  Venice — ^be  our  general  and  chief. 


Chief ! — ^general ! — I  was  general  at  Zara, 

And  chief  in  Rhodes  and  Cyprus,  prince  in  Venice ; 

I  cannot  stoop that  is,  I  am  not  fit 

To  lead  a  band  of ^patriots  :  when  I  lay 

Aside  the  dignities  which  I  have  borne, 
'Tis  not  to  put  on  others,  but  to  be 
Mate  to  my  fellows — ^but  now  to  the  point : 
Israel  has  stated  to  me  your  whole  plan — 
""Tis  bold,  but  feasible  if  I  assist  it. 
And  must  be  set  in  motion  instantly. 


E'en  when  thou  wilt — is  it  not  so,  my  friends  .'* 
I  have  disposed  all  for  a  sudden  blow ; 
When  shall  it  be  then  ? 


At  sunrise. 


So  soon  ? 


So  soon  ? — so  late — each  hour  accumulates 
Peril  on  peril,  and  the  more  so  now 
Since  I  have  mingled  with  you ;  know  you  not 
The  Council,  and  "  the  Ten .?"  the  spies,  the  eyes 
Of  the  patricians  dubious  of  their  slaves, 
And  now  more  dubious  of  the  prince  they  have  made  one  ? 


84  MARINO  FALIERQ,  ACT  ill. 

I'tell  you  you  must  strike,  and  suddenly, 

Full  to  the  Hydra's  heart — ^its  heads  will  follow. 


With  all  my  soul  and  sword  I  yield  assent ; 
Our  companies  are  ready,  sixty  each, 
And  all  now  under  arms  by  Israel's  order ; 
Each  at  their  different  place  of  rendezvous, 
And  vigilant,  expectant  of  some  blow ; 
Let  each  repair  for  action  to  his  post ! 
And  now,  my  lord,  the  signal  ? 

•  DOGE. 

When  you  hear 
The  great  bell  of  Saint  Mark's,  which  may  not  be 
Struck  without  special  order  of  the  Doge, 
(The  last  poor  privilege  they  leave  their  prince), 
March  on  Saint  Mark's ! 


And  there  ? — 


By  different  routes 
Let  your  march  be  directed,  every  sixty 
Entering  a  separate  avenue,  and  still 
Upon  the  way  let  your  cry  be  of  war 
And  of  the  Genoese  fleet,  by  the  first  dawn 
Discem'd  before  the  port ;  form  round  the  palace, 
Within  whose  court  will  be  drawn  out  in  arms 
My  nephew  and  the  chents  of  our  house, 
Many  and  martial ;  while  the  bell  tolls  on, 
Shout  ye,  "  Saint  Mark  ! — the  foe  is  on  our  waters  r 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  85 


I  see  it  now — but  on,  my  noble  lord. 


All  the  patricians  flocking  to  the  Council, 
(Which  they  dare  not  refuse,  at  the  dread  signal 
Pealing  from  out  their  patron  smnfs  proud  tower) 
Will  then  be  gathered  in  unto  the  harvest. 
And  we  will  reap  them  with  the  sword  for  sickle. 
If  some  few  should  be  tardy  or  absent  them, 
"■Twill  be  but  to  be  taken  faint  and  single, 
When  the  majority  are  put  to  rest. 


Would  that  the  hour  were  come  !  we  will  not  scotch, 
But  kill. 


Once  more,  sir,  with  your  pardon,  I 
Would  now  repeat  the  question  which  I  askM 
Before  Bertuccio  added  to  our  cause 
This  great  ally  who  renders  it  more  sure, 
And  therefore  safer,  and  as  such  admits 
Some  dawn  of  mercy  to  a  portion  of 
Our  victims — must  all  perish  in  this  slaughter  ? 


All  who  encounter  me  and  mine,  be  sure. 
The  mercy  they  have  shown,  I  show. 


All!  all! 
Is  this  a  time  to  talk  of  pity  ?  when 
Have  they  c'*cr  shown,  or  felt,  or  feign'd  it  ? 



This  false  compassion  is  a  folly,  and 
Injustice  to  thy  comrades  and  thy  cause ! 
Dost  thou  not  see,  that  if  we  single  out 
Some  for  escape,  they  live  but  to  avenge 
The  fallen  ?  and  how  distinguish  now  the  innocent 
From  out  the  guilty  ?  all  their  acts  are  07ie — 
A  single  emanation  from  one  body. 
Together  knit  for  our  oppression  !  'Tis 
Much  that  we  let  their  children  live  ;  I  doubt 
If  all  of  these  even  should  be  set  apart : 
The  hunter  may  reserve  some  single  cub 
From  out  the  tiger''s  litter,  but  who  e'er 
Would  seek  to  save  the  spotted  sire  or  dam, 
Unless  to  perish  by  their  fangs  ?  however, 
I  will  abide  by  Doge  Faliero's  counsel ; 
Let  him  decide  if  any  should  be  saved. 


Ask  me  not — tempt  me  not  with  such  a  question — 
Decide  yourselves. 


You  know  their  private  virtues 
Far  better  than  we  can,  to  whom  alone 
Their  public  vices,  and  most  foul  oppression. 
Have  made  them  deadly ;  if  there  be  amongst  them 
One  who  deserves  to  be  repeaPd,  pronounce. 


Dolfino's  father  was  my  friend,  and  Lando 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  87 

Fought  by  my  side,  and  Marc  Cornaro  shared 
My  Genoese  embassy ;  I  saved  the  hfe 
Of  Veniero — shall  I  save  it  twice  ? 
Would  that  I  could  save  them  and  Venice  also  ! 
All  these  men,  or  their  fathers,  were  my  friends 
Till  they  became  my  subjects ;  then  fell  from  me 
As  faithless  leaves  drop  from  the  o''erblown  flower, 
And  left  me  a  lone  blighted  thorny  stalk, 
Which,  in  its  solitude,  can  shelter  nothing ; 
So,  as  they  let  me  wither,  let  them  perish  ! 


They  cannot  co-exist  with  Venice"*  freedom  ! 


Ye,  though  you  know  and  feel  our  mutual  mass 

Of  many  wrongs,  even  ye  are  ignorant 

What  fatal  poison  to  the  springs  of  life. 

To  human  ties,  and  all  that'*s  good  and  dear, 

Lurks  in  the  present  institutes  of  Venice : 

All  these  men  were  my  friends ;  I  loved  them,  they 

Requited  honourably  my  regards ; 

We  served  and  fought ;  we  smiled  and  wept  in  concert ; 

We  revell'd  or  we  sorrowM  side  by  side ; 

We  made  alliances  of  blood  and  marriage ; 

We  grew  in  years  and  honours  fairly,  till 

Their  own  desire,  not  my  ambition,  made 

Them  choose  me  for  their  prince,  and  then  farewell ! 

Farewell  all  social  memory  !  all  thoughts 

In  common  !  and  sweet  bonds  which  hnk  old  friendships. 

When  the  survivors  of  long  years  and  actions, 

88  MARINO  FALIERO,  ACT  lii. 


Which  now  belong  to  history,  soothe  the  days 
Which  yet  remain  by  treasuring  each  other, 
And  never  meet,  but  each  beholds  the  mirror 
Of  half  a  century  on  his  brother^s  brow. 
And  sees  a  hundred  beings,  now  in  earth. 
Flit  round  them  whispering  of  the  days  gone  by, 
And  seeming  not  all  dead,  as  long  as  two 
Of  the  brave,  joyous,  reckless,  glorious  band. 
Which  once  were  one  and  many,  still  retain 
A  breath  to  sigh  for  them,  a  tongue  to  speak 

Of  deeds  that  else  were  silent,  save  on  marble 

Oime !  Oime ! — and  must  I  do  this  deed  ? 


My  lord,  you  are  much  moved :  it  is  not  now 
That  such  things  must  be  dwelt  upon. 


Your  patience 
A  moment — I  recede  not :  mark  with  me 
The  gloomy  vices  of  this  government. 
From  the  hour  that  made  me  Doge,  the  Doge  they  made 

me — 
Farewell  the  past !  I  died  to  all  that  had  been. 
Or  rather  they  to  me :  no  friends,  no  kindness. 
No  privacy  of  life — all  were  cut  off*: 
They  came  not  near  me,  such  approach  gave  umbrage ; 
They  could  not  love  me,  such  was  not  the  law ; 
They  thwarted  me,  'twas  the  state''s  policy ; 
They  baffled  me,  "'twas  a  patrician's  duty  ; 
They  wrong'd  me,  for  such  was  to  right  the  state ; 


They  could  not  right  me,  that  would  give  suspicion ; 

So  that  I  was  a  slave  to  my  own  subjects ; 

So  that  I  was  a  foe  to  my  own  friends ; 

Begirt  with  spies  for  guards — with  robes  for  power — 

With  pomp  for  freedom — ^gaolers  for  a  council — 

Inquisitors  for  friends — and  hell  for  life  ! 

I  had  one  ofily  fount  of  quiet  left, 

And  that  they  poison''d !  My  pure  household  gods 

Were  shivered  on  my  heairth,  and  o'er  their  shrine 

Sate  grinning  ribaldry  and  sneering  scorn. 


You  have  been  deeply  wrongM,  and  now  shall  be 
Nobly  avenged  before  another  night. 


I  had  borne  all — it  hurt  me,  but  I  bore  it — 
Till  this  last  running  over  of  the  cup 
Of  bitterness — until  this  last  loud  insult, 
Not  only  unredressM,  but  sanction'*d ;  then. 
And  thus,  I  cast  all  further  feelings  from  me — 
The  feelings  which  they  crush''d  for  me,  long,  long 
Before,  even  jn  their  oath  of  false  allegiance ! 
Even  in  that  very  hour  and  vow,  they  abjured 
Their  friend  and  made  a  sovereign,  as  boys  make 
Playthings,  to  do  their  pleasure  and  be  broken ! 
I  from  that  hour  have  seen  but  senators 
In  dark  suspicious  conflict  with  the  Doge, 
Brooding  with  him  in  mutual  hate  and  fear ; 
They  dreading  he  should  snatch  the  tyranny 
From  out  their  grasp,  and  he  abhorring  tyrants. 

90  MARINO  FALIERO,  ACT  ill. 

To  me,  then,  these  men  have  no  private  Hfe, 
Nor  claim  to  ties  they  have  cut  off  from  others ; 
As  senators  for  arbitrary  acts 
Amenable,  I  look  on  them — as  such 
Let  them  be  dealt  upon. 


And  now  to  action  ! 
Hence,  brethren,  to  our  posts,  and  may  this  be 
The  last  night  of  mere  words :  I  'd  fain  be  doing  ! 
Saint  Mark''s  great  bell  at  dawn  shall  find  me  wakeful ! 


Disperse  then  to  your  posts :  be  firm  and  vigilant ; 
Think  on  the  wrongs  we  bear,  the  rights  we  claim. 
This  day  and  night  shall  be  the  last  of  peril ! 
Watch  for  the  signal,  and  then  march.     I  go 
To  join  my  band ;  let  each  be  prompt  to  marshal 
His  separate  charge :  the  Doge  will  now  return 
To  the  palace  to  prepare  aU  for  the  blow. 
We  part  to  meet  in  freedom  and  in  glory  ! 


Doge,  when  I  greet  you  next,  my  homage  to  you 
Shall  be  the  head  of  Steno  on  this  sword ! 


No ;  let  him  be  reserved  unto  the  last. 
Nor  turn  aside  to  strike  at  such  a  prey, 
TiU  nobler  game  is  quarried :  his  offence 
Was  a  mere  ebulHtion  of  the  vice. 
The  general  corruption  generated 
By  the  foul  aristocracy ;  he  could  not — 

SC.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  91 

He  dared  not  in  more  honourable  days 
Have  risk'd  it !  I  have  merged  all  private  wrath 
Against  him,  in  the  thought  of  our  great  purpose. 
A  slave  insults  me — I  require  his  punishment 
From  his  proud  master's  hands ;  if  he  refuse  it, 
The  offence  grows  his,  and  let  him  answer  it. 


Yet,  as  the  immediate  cause  of  the  alliance 
Which  consecrates  our  undertaking  more, 
I  owe  him  such  deep  gratitude,  that  fain 
I  would  repay  him  as  he  merits ;  may  I  ? 


You  would  but  lop  the  hand,  and  I  the  head ; 

You  would  but  smite  the  scholar,  I  the  master ; 

You  would  but  punish  Steno,  I  the  senate. 

I  cannot  pause  on  individual  hate. 

In  the  absorbing,  sweeping,  whole  revenge, 

Which,  like  the  sheeted  fire  from  heaven,  must  blast 

Without  distinction,  as  it  fell  of  yore. 

Where  the  Dead  Sea  hath  quenched  two  cities'*  ashes. 


Away,  then,  to  your  posts  !  I  but  remain 
A  moment  to  accompany  the  Doge 
To  our  late  place  of  tryst,  to  see  no  spies 
Have  been  upon  the  scout,  and  thence  I  hasten 
To  where  my  allotted  band  is  under  arms. 


Farewell,  then,  until  dawn. 


Success  go  with  you  ! 

92  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  hi. 


We  will  not  fail — away  !  My  lord,  farewell ! 

[The  Conspirators  salute  the  Doge  and  Israel  Ber- 
Tuccio,  ajid  retire,  headed  hy  Philip  Calendaro. 
The  Doge  and  Israel  Bertuccio  remain. 

ISRAEL    bertuccio. 

We  have  them  in  the  toil — ^it  cannot  fail ! 
Now  thou  Vt  indeed  a  sovereign,  and  wilt  make 
A  name  immortal  greater  than  the  greatest : 
Free  citizens  have  struck  at  kings  ere  now ; 
Caesars  have  fallen,  and  even  patrician  hands 
Have  crushed  dictators,  as  the  popular  steel 
Has  reach''d  patricians ;  but  until  this  hour. 
What  prince  has  plotted  for  his  people''s  freedom  ? 
Or  risked  a  life  to  liberate  his  subjects  ? 
For  ever,  and  for  ever,  they  conspire 
Against  the  people,  to  abuse  their  hands 
To  chains,  but  laid  aside  to  carry  weapons 
Against  the  fellow  nations,  so  that  yoke 
On  yoke,  and  slavery  and  death  may  whet. 
Not  glut,  the  never-gorged  Leviathan  ! 
Now,  my  lord,  to  our  enterprise ;  'tis  great. 
And  greater  the  reward ;  why  stand  you  rapt  ? 
A  moment  back,  and  you  were  all  impatience  ! 


And  is  it  then  decided  ?  must  they  die  ? 

ISRAEL   bertuccio. 


sc.  11.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  98 


My  own  friends  by  blood  and  courtesy, 
And  many  deeds  and  days — the  senators  ? 


You  passed  their  sentence,  and  it  is  a  just  one. 


Ay,  so  it  seems,  and  so  it  is  to  you ; 

You  are  a  patriot,  a  plebeian  Gracchus — 

The  rebePs  oracle — the  people's  tribune — 

I  blame  you  not,  you  act  in  your  vocation ; 

They  smote  you,  and  oppress'*d  you,  and  despised  you ; 

So  they  have  me :  but  you  ne'*er  spake  ^vith  them ; 

You  never  broke  their  bread,  nor  shared  their  salt ; 

You  never  had  their  wine-cup  at  your  lips ; 

You  grew  not  up  with  them,  nor  laugh''d,  nor  wept. 

Nor  held  a  revel  in  their  company ; 

Ne'er  smiled  to  see  them  smile,  nor  claimed  their  smile 

In  social  interchange  for  yours,  nor  trusted 

Nor  wore  them  in  your  heart  of  hearts,  as  I  have : 

These  hairs  of  mine  are  grey,  and  so  are  theirs. 

The  elders  of  the  council ;  I  remember 

When  all  our  locks  were  like  the  raven's  wing, 

As  we  went  forth  to  take  our  prey  around 

The  isles  wrung  from  the  false  Mahometan ; 

And  can  I  see  them  dabbled  o'er  with  blood .? 

Each  stab  to  them  will  seem  my  suicide. 


Doge !  Doge !  this  vacillation  is  unworthy 
A  child ;  if  you  are  not  in  second  childhood, 

94  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  in. 

Call  back  your  nerves  to  your  own  purpose,  nor 

Thus  shame  yourself  and  me.     By  heavens  !  I  'd  rather 

Forego  even  now,  or  fail  in  our  intent, 

Than  see  the  man  I  venerate  subside 

From  high  resolves  into  such  shallow  weakness ! 

You  have  seen  blood  in  battle,  shed  it,  both 

Your  own  and  that  of  others ;  can  you  shrink  then 

From  a  few  drops  from  veins  of  hoary  vampires, 

Who  but  give  back  what  they  have  drained  from  millions? 


Bear  with  me !  Step  by  step,  and  blow  on  blow, 

1  will  divide  mth  you ;  think  not  I  waver  : 

Ah  !  no ;  it  is  the  certainty  of  all 

Which  I  must  do  doth  make  me  tremble  thus. 

But  let  these  last  and  lingering  thoughts  have  way, 

To  which  you  only  and  the  Night  are  conscious. 

And  both  regardless ;  when  the  hour  arrives, 

'Tis  mine  to  sound  the  knell,  and  strike  the  blow. 

Which  shall  unpeople  many  palaces, 

And  hew  the  highest  genealogic  trees 

Down  to  the  earth,  strew'd  with  their  bleeding  fruit, 

And  crush  their  blossoms  into  barrenness : 

This  will  I — must  I — have  I  sworn  to  do. 

Nor  aught  can  turn  me  from  my  destiny ; 

But  still  I  quiver  to  behold  what  I 

Must  be,  and  think  what  I  have  been !  Bear  with  me. 


Re-man  your  breast ;  I  feel  no  such  remorse, 

SC.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  95 

I  understand  it  not :  why  should  you  change  ? 
You  acted,  and  you  act  on  your  free  ^vill. 


Ay,  there  it  is — you  feel  not,  nor  do  I, 

Else  I  should  stab  thee  on  the  spot,  to  save 

A  thousand  lives,  and,  killing,  do  no  murder ; 

Youjeel  not — i/ou  go  to  this  butcher- work 

As  if  these  high-bom  men  were  stfeers  for  shambles ! 

When  all  is  over,  you  '11  be  free  and  merry, 

And  calmly  wash  those  hands  incarnadine ; 

But  I,  outgoing  thee  and  all  thy  fellows 

In  this  surpassing  massacre,  shall  be, 

Shall  see,  and  feel — oh  God  1  oh  God  !  'tis  true, 

And  thou  dost  well  to  answer  that  it  was 

"  My  own  free  will  and  act,""  and  yet  you  err, 

For  I  zvill  do  this  !  Doubt  not — fear  not ;  I 

Will  be  your  most  unmerciful  accomplice  ! 

And  yet  I  act  no  more  on  my  free  ^vill. 

Nor  my  own  feelings — both  compel  me  back ; 

But  there  is  hell  within  me  and  around, 

And  like  the  demon  who  believes  and  trembles 

Must  I  abhor  and  do.     Away  !  away  ! 

Get  thee  unto  thy  fellows,  I  will  hie  me 

To  gather  the  retainers  of  our  house. 

Doubt  not,  Saint  Mark's  great  bell  shall  wake  all  Venice, 

Except  her  slaughtered  senate :  ere  the  sun 

Be  broad  upon  the  Adriatic  there 

Shall  be  a  voice  of  weeping,  which  shall  drown 

The  roar  of  waters  in  the  cry  of  blood ! 

I  am  resolved — come  on. 

96  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  in. 


With  all  my  soul ! 
Keep  a  firm  rein  upon  these  bursts  of  passion ; 
Remember  what  these  men  have  dealt  to  thee. 
And  that  this  sacrifice  will  be  succeeded 
By  ages  of  prosperity  and  freedom 
To  this  unshackled  city :  a  true  tyrant 
Would  have  depopulated  empires,  nor 
Have  felt  the  strange  compunction  which  hath  wrung  yon 
To  punish  a  few  traitors  to  the  people ! 
Trust  me,  such  were  a  pity  more  misplaced 
Than  the  late  mercy  of  the  state  to  Steno. 


Man,  thou  hast  struck  upon  the  chord  which  jars 
All  nature  from  my  heart.     Hence  to  our  task  ! 


END    OF    ACT   III. 



Palazzo  qftJie  Patrician  Lioni.  Lioni  laying  aside  the 
mask  and  cloak  which  tlte  Venetian  Nobles  wore  in 
pitblic,  attended  by  a  Domestic. 


I  will  to  rest,  right  weary  of  this  revel, 
The  gayest  we  have  held  for  many  moons, 
And  yet,  I  know  not  why,  it  cheer'd  me  not ; 
There  came  a  heaviness  across  my  heart. 
Which,  in  the  lightest  movement  of  the  dance, 
Though  eye  to  eye,  and  hand  in  hand  united 
Even  with  the  lady  of  my  love,  oppress^  me. 
And  through  my  spirit  chilPd  my  blood,  until 
A  damp  like  death  rose  o'er  my  brow ;  I  strove 
To  laugh  the  thought  away,  but 't  would  not  be ; 
Through  all  the  music  ringing  in  my  ears 
A  knell  was  sounding  as  distinct  and  clear. 
Though  low  and  far,  as  e'er  the  Adrian  wave 
Rose  o'er  the  city's  murmur  in  the  night, 
Dashing  against  the  outward  Lido's  bulwark : 
So  that  I  left  the  festival  before 
It  reach'd  its  zenith,  and  will  woo  my  pillow 
For  thoughts  more  tranquil,  or  forgetfulness. 

98  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  iv. 

Antonio,  take  my  mask  and  cloak,  and  light 
The  lamp  within  my  chamber. 


Yes,  my  lord  : 
Command  you  no  refreshment  ? 


Nought,  save -sleep, 
Which  will  not  be  commanded.     Let  me  hope  it, 

[Ea^it  Antonio. 
Though  my  breast  feels  too  anxious ;  I  will  try 
Whether  the  air  will  calm  my  spirits :  'tis 
A  goodly  night ;  the  cloudy  wind  which  blew 
From  the  Levant  hath  crept  into  its  cave. 
And  the  broad  moon  has  brightened.     What  a  stillness  ! 

[Goes  to  an  open  lattice. 
And  what  a  contrast  with  the  scene  I  left,    . 
Where  the  tall  torches'  glare,  and  silver  lamps'* 
More  pallid  gleam  along  the  tapestried  walls. 
Spread  over  the  reluctant  gloom  which  haunts 
Those  vast  and  dimly-latticed  galleries 
A  dazzling  mass  of  artificial  light. 
Which  showed  all  things,  but  nothing  as  they  were. 
There  Age  essaying  to  recall  the  past. 
After  long  striving  for  the  hues  of  youth  > 

At  the  sad  labour  of  the  toilet,  and 
Full  many  a  glance  at  the  too  faithful  mirror, 
Prankt  forth  in  all  the  pride  of  ornament. 
Forgot  itself,  and  trusting  to  the  falsehood 
Of  the  indulgent  beams,  which  show,  yet  hide. 

SC.  r.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  99 

Believed  itself  forgotten,  and  was  foord. 

There  Youth,  which  needed  not,  nor  thought  of  such 

Vain  adjuncts,  lavished  its  true  bloom,  and  health, 

And  bridal  beauty,  in  the  unwholesome  press 

Of  flushed  and  crowded  wassailers,  and  wasted 

Its  hours  of  rest  in  dreaming  this  was  pleasure, 

And  so  shall  waste  them  tiU  the  sunrise  streams 

On  sallow  cheeks  and  sunken  eyes,  which  should  not 

Have  worn  this  aspect  yet  for  many  a  vear. 

The  music,  and  the  banquet,  and  the  wine — 

The  garlands,  the  rose  odours,  and  the  flowers — 

The  sparkling  eyes  and  flashing  ornaments — 

The  white  arms  and  the  raven  hair — the  braids 

And  bracelets ;  swanlike  bosoms,  and  the  necklace. 

An  India  in  itself,  yet  dazzhng  not 

The  eye  like  what  it  circled ;  the  thin  robes 

Floating  hke  light  clouds  'twixt  our  gaze  and  heaven ; 

The  many-twinkling  feet  so  small  and  sylphhke. 

Suggesting  the  more  secret  symmetry 

Of  the  fair  forms  which  terminate  so  well — 

All  the  delusion  of  the  dizzy  scene. 

Its  false  and  true  enchantments — art  and  nature. 

Which  swam  before  my  giddy  eyes,  that  drank 

The  sight  of  beauty  as  the  parch''d  pilgrim's 

On  Arab  sands  the  false  mirage,  which  offers 

A  lucid  lake  to  his  eluded  thirst. 

Are  gone. — Around  me  are  the  stars  and  waters — 

Worlds  mirrorM  in  the  ocean,  goodlier  sight 

Than  torches  glared  back  by  a  gaudy  glass ; 


100  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  iv. 

And  the  great  element,  which  is  to  space 

What  ocean  is  to  earth,  spreads  its  blue  depths, 

Soften'*d  with  the  first  breathings  of  the  spring ; 

The  high  moon  sails  upon  her  beauteous  way, 

Serenely  smoothing  o'er  the  lofty  walls 

Of  those  tall  piles  and  sea.-girt  palaces. 

Whose  porphyry  pillars,  and  whose  cosdy  fronts. 

Fraught  with  the  orient  spoil  of  many  marbles, 

Like  altars  ranged  along  the  broad  canal, 

Seem  each  a  trophy  of  some  mighty  deed 

Rear'd  up  from  out  the  waters,  scarce  less  strangely 

Than  those  more  massy  and  mysterious  giants 

Of  architecture,  those  Titanian  fabrics, 

Which  point  in  Egypt's  plains  to  times  that  have 

No  other  record.     All  is  gentle :  nought 

Stirs  rudely ;  but,  congenial  with  the  night, 

Whatever  walks  is  gliding  hke  a  spirit. 

The  tinklings  of  some  vigilant  guitars 

Of  sleepless  lovers  to  a  wakeful  mistress. 

And  cautious  opening  of  the  casement,  showing 

That  he  is  not  unheard ;  while  her  young  hand. 

Fair  as  the  moonlight  of  which  it  seems  part. 

So  delicately  white,  it  trembles  in 

The  act  of  opening  the  forbidden  lattice. 

To  let  in  love  through  music,  makes  his  heart 

Thrill  like  his  lyre-strings  at  the  sight ; — the  dash 

Phosphoric  of  the  oar,  or  rapid  twinkle 

Of  the  far  lights  of  skimming  gondolas, 

And  the  responsive  voices  of  the  choir 

SC.  I. 



Of  boatmen  answering  back  with  verse  for  verse ; 
Some  dusky  shadow  chequering  the  Rialto ; 
Some  glimmering  palace  roof,  or  tapering  spire, 
Are  all  the  sights  and  sounds  which  here  pervade 
The  ocean-born  and  earth-commanding  city — 
How  sweet  and  soothing  is  this  hour  of  calm  ! 
I  thank  thee,  Night !  for  thou  hast  chased  away 
Those  horrid  bodements  which,  amidst  the  throng, 
I  could  not  dissipate :  and  with  the  blessing 
Of  thy  benign  and  quiet  influence, — 
Now  will  I  to  my  couch,  although  to  rest 

Is  almost  wron^ng  such  a  night  as  this 

[A  knocking'  is  heard Jrom  •mitfumt. 
Hark  !  what  is  that  ?  or  who  at  such  a  moment  ? 

Enter  Antonio. 


My  lord,  a  man  without,  on  urgent  business, 
Implores  to  be  admitted. 


Is  he  a  stranger  ? 


His  face  is  muffled  in  his  cloak,  but  both 
His  voice  and  gestures  seem  familiar  to  me ; 
I  craved  his  name,  but  this  he  seem'd  reluctant 
To  trust,  save  to  yourself;  most  earnestly 
He  sues  to  be  permitted  to  approach  you. 

102  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  iv. 


'Tis  a  strange  hour,  and  a  suspicious  bearing ! 
And  yet  there  is  slight  peril :  "'tis  not  in 
Their  houses  noble  men  are  struck  at ;  still, 
Although  I  know  not  that  I  have  a  foe 
In  Venice,  'twill  be  wise  to  use  some  caution. 
Admit  him,  and  retire ;  but  call  up  quickly 
Some  of  thy  fellows,  who  may  wait  without. — 

Who  can  this  man  be  ? 

[Ea:it  Antonio,  and  returns  with  Bertram,  muffled. 


My  good  lord  Lioni, 
I  have  no  time  to  lose,  nor  thou — dismiss 
This  menial  hence ;  I  would  be  private  with  you. 


It  seems  the  voice  of  Bertram — ^go,  Antonio. 

[Exit  Antonio. 
Now,  stranger,  what  would  you  at  such  an  hour  ? 

BERTRAM  {discovering  himself). 
A  boon,  my  noble  patron ;  you  have  granted 
Many  to  your  poor  client,  Bertram ;  add 
This  one,  and  make  him  happy. 


Thou  hast  known  me 
From  boyhood,  ever  ready  to  assist  thee 
In  all  fair  objects  of  advancement,  which  % 

Beseem  one  of  thy  station ;  I  would  promise 
Ere  thy  request  was  heard,  but  that  the  hour. 
Thy  bearing,  and  this  strange  and  hurried  mode 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OE  VENICE.  103 

Of  suing,  gives  me  to  suspect  this  visit 
Hath  some  mysterious  import — ^l)ut  say  on — 
What  has  occurred,  some  rash  and  sudden  broil  ? — 
A  cup  too  much,  a  scuffle,  and  a  stab  ? — 
Mere  things  of  every  day ;  so  that  thou  hast  not 
Spilt  noble  blood,  I  guarantee  thy  safety ; 
But  then  thou  must  withdraw,  for  angry  friends 
And  relatives,  in  the  first  burst  of  vengeance, 
Are  things  in  Venice  deadlier  than  the  laws. 


My  lord,  I  thank  you ;  but 


But  what  ?  You  have  not 
Raised  a  rash  hand  against  one  of  our  order  .'* 
If  so,  withdraw  and  fly,  and  own  it  not ; 
I  would  not  slay — ^but  then  I  must  not  save  thee ! 
He  who  has  shed  patrician  blood 


I  come 
To  save  patrician  blood,  and  not  to  shed  it ! 
And  thereunto  I  must  be  speedy,  for 
Each  minute  lost  may  lose  a  life ;  since  Time 
Has  changed  his  slow  scythe  for  the  two-edged  sword, 
And  is  about  to  take,  instead  of  sand. 
The  dust  from  sepulchres  to  fill  his  hour-glass ! — 
Go  not  thoii  forth  to-morrow  ! 


Wherefore  not  f — 
What  means  this  menace  .'* 


104  MARINO  FALIERO,  ACT  iv. 


Do  not  seek  its  meaning, 
But  do  as  I  implore  thee ; — stir  not  forth, 
Whate'^er  be  stirring ;  though  the  roar  of  crowds — 
The  cry  of  women,  and  the  shrieks  of  babes — 
The  groans  of  men — the  clash  of  arms — the  sound 
Of  rolling  drum,  shrill  trump,  and  hollow  bell, 
Peal  in  one  wide  alarum  ! — Go  not  forth 
Until  the  tocsin 's  silent,  nor  even  then 
Till  I  return  ! 


Again,  what  does  this  mean  ? 


Again,  I  tell  thee,  ask  not ;  but  by  all 
Thou  boldest  dear  on  earth  or  heaven — by  all 
The  souls  of  thy  great  fathers,  and  thy  hope 
To  emulate  them,  and  to  leave  behind 
Descendants  worthy  both  of  them  and  thee — 
By  all  thou  hast  of  blest  in  hope  or  memory — 
By  all  thou  hast  to  fear  here  or  hereafter — 
By  all  the  good  deeds  thou  hast  done  to  me. 
Good  I  would  now  repay  with  greater  good. 
Remain  within — trust  to  thy  household  gods. 
And  to  my  word  for  safety,  if  thou  dost 
As  I  now  counsel — ^but  if  not,  thou  art  lost  f 


I  am  indeed  already  lost  in  wonder ; 
Surely  thou  ravest !  what  have  /  to  dread  ? 
Who  are  my  foes  ?  or  if  there  be  such,  whi/ 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  105 

Art  thou  leagued  with  them  ? — thou !  or  if  so  leagued, 
Why  comest  thou  to  tell  me  at  this  hour, 
And  not  before  ? 


I  cannot  answer  this. 
Wilt  thou  go  forth  despite  of  this  true  warning  ? 


I  was  not  bom  to  shrink  from  idle  threats, 
The  cause  of  which  I  know  not :  at  the  hour 
Of  council,  be  it  soon  or  late,  I  shall  not 
Be  found  among  the  absent. 


Say  not  so ! 
Once  more,  art  thou  determined  to  go  forth  ? 


I  am.     Nor  is  there  aught  which  shall  impede  me  ! 


Then  Heaven  have  mercy  on  thy  soul ! — Farewell ! 



Stay — there  is  more  in  this  than  my  own  safety 

Which  makes  me  call  thee  back ;  we  must  not  part  thus : 

Bertram,  I  have  known  thee  long. 


From  childhood,  signor. 
You  have  been  my  protector :  in  the  days 
Of  reckless  infancy,  when  rank  forgets. 
Or,  rather,  is  not  yet  taught  to  remember 
Its  cold  prerogative,  we  play**d  together; 

106  MARINO  FALIERO,  ACT  iv. 

Our  sports,  our  smiles,  our  tears,  were  mingled  oft ; 

My  father  was  your  father'*s  client,  I 

His  son's  scarce  less  than  foster-brother  ;  years 

Saw  us  together — ^happy,  heart-full  hours ! — 

Oh  God  !  the  difference  'twixt  those  hours  and  this  ! 


Bertram,  'tis  thou  who  hast  forgotten  them. 


Nor  now,  nor  ever ;  whatsoe'er  betide, 

I  would  have  saved  you :  when  to  manhood's  growth 

We  sprung,  and  you,  devoted  to  the  state. 

As  suits  your  station,  the  more  humble  Bertram 

Was  left  unto  the  labours  of  the  humble. 

Still  you  forsook  me  not ;  and  if  my  fortunes 

Have  not  been  towering,  'twas  no  fault  of  him 

Who  oft-times  rescued  and  supported  me 

When  struggling  with  the  tides  of  circumstance 

Which  bear  away  the  weaker :  noble  blood 

Ne'er  mantled  in  a  nobler  heart  than  thine 

Has  proved  to  me,  the  poor  plebeian  Bertram. 

Would  that  thy  fellow  senators  were  Uke  thee  ! 


Why,  what  hast  thou  to  say  against  the  senate  ? 




I  know  that  there  are  angry  spirits 
And  turbulent  mutterers  of  stifled  treason 
Who  lurk  in  naiTow  places,  and  walk  out 

sc.  r.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  107 

Muffled  to  whisper  curses  t»  the  night ; 

Disbanded  soldiers,  discontented  ruffians, 

And  desperate  libertines  who  brawl  in  taverns ; 

Thou  herdest  not  with  such :  'tis  true,  of  late 

I  have  lost  sight  of  thee,  but  thou  wert  wont 

To  lead  a  temperate  life,  and  break  thy  bread 

With  honest  mates,  and  bear  a  cheerful  aspect. 

What  hath  come  to  thee  ?  in  thy  hollow  eye  '% 

And  hueless  cheek,  and  thine  unquiet  motions, 

Sorrow  and  shame  and  conscience  seem  at  war 

To  waste  thee  ? 


Rather  shame  and  sorrow  light 
On  the  accursed  tyranny  which  rides 
The  very  air  in  Venice,  and  makes  men 
Madden  as  in  the  last  hours  of  the  plague 
Which  sweeps  the  soul  deliriously  from  life  ! 


Some  villains  have  been  tampering  with  thee,  Bertram ; 

This  is  not  thy  old  language,  nor  own  thoughts ; 

Some  Avretch  has  made  thee  drunk  with  disaffection ; 

But  thou  must  not  be  lost  so ;  thou  wert  good 

And  kind,  and  art  not  fit  for  such  base  acts 

As  vice  and  villany  would  put  thee  to : 

Confess — confide  in  me — thou  know'st  my  nature — 

What  is  it  thou  and  thine  are  bound  to  do. 

Which  should  prevent  thy  friend,  the  only  son 

Of  him  who  was  a  friend  unto  thy  father. 

So  that  our  good-will  is  a  heritage 

108  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  iv. 

We  should  bequeath  to  our  posterity 

Such  as  ourselves  received  it,  or  augmented ; 

I  say,  what  is  it  thou  must  do,  that  I 

Should  deem  thee  dangerous,  and  keep  the  house 

Like  a  sick  girl  ?  , 


Nay,  question  me  no  further : 
I  must  be  gone. 


And  I  be  murdered  ! — say, 
Was  it  not  thus  thou  said'st,  my  gentle  Bertram  'i 


Who  talks  of  murder .?  what  said  I  of  murder .? — 
■"Tis  false !  I  did  not  utter  such  a  word. 


Thou  didst  not;  but  from  out  thy  wolfish  eye, 

So  changed  from  what  I  knew  it,  there  glares  forth 

The  gladiator.     If  my  life 's  thine  object. 

Take  it — I  am  unarm''d, — and  then  away  ! 

I  would  not  hold  my  breath  on  such  a  tenure 

As  the  capricious  mercy  of  such  things 

As  thou  and  those  who  have  set  thee  to  thy  task-work. 


Sooner  than  spill  thy  blood,  I  peril  mine ; 
Sooner  than  harm  a  hair  of  thine,  I  place 
In  jeopardy  a  thousand  heads,  and  some 
As  noble,  nay,  even  nobler  than  thine  own. 


Ay,  is  it  even  so  ?  Excuse  me,  Bertram ; 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  109 

I  am  not  worthy  to  be  singled  out 

From  such  exalted  hecatombs — who  are  they 

That  are  in  danger,  and  that  make  the  danger  ? 


Venice,  and  all  that  she  inherits,  are 

Divided  hke  a  house  against  itself, 

And  so  will  perish  ere  to-morrow'*s  twilight ! 


More  mysteries,  and  awful  ones  !    But  now. 

Or  thou,  or  I,  or  both  it  may  be,  are 

Upon  the  verge  of  ruin ;  speak  once  out. 

And  thou  art  safe  and  glorious ;  for  'tis  more 

Glorious  to  save  than  slay,  and  slay  i'  the  dark  too — 

Fie,  Bertram  !  that  was  not  a  craft  for  thee ! 

How  would  it  look  to  see  upon  a  spear 

The  head  of  him  whose  heart  was  open  to  thee, 

Borne  by  thy  hand  before  the  shuddering  people  ? 

And  such  may  be  my  doom ;  for  here  I  swear. 

Whatever  the  peril  or  the  penalty 

Of  thy  denunciation,  I  go  forth. 

Unless  thou  dost  detail  the  cause,  and  show 

The  consequence  of  all  which  led  thee  here  ! 


Is  there  no  way  to  save  thee  ?  minutes  fly. 

And  thou  art  lost ! — thou !  my  sole  benefactor. 

The  only  being  who  was  constant  to  me 

Through  every  change.     Yet,  make  me  not  a  traitor ! 

Let  me  save  thee — ^but  spare  my  honour  ! 



110  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  iv. 

Can  lie  the  honour  in  a  league  of  murder  ? 
And  who  are  traitors  save  unto  the  state  ? 


A  league  is  still  a  compact,  and  more  binding 
In  honest  hearts  when  words  must  stand  for  law ; 
And  in  my  mind,  there  is  no  traitor  like 
He  whose  domestic  treason  plants  the  poniard 
Within  the  breast  which  trusted  to  his  truth. 


And  who  will  strike  the  steel  to  mine  ? 


Not  I; 
I  could  have  wound  my  soul  up  to  all  things 
Save  this.     TJwii  must  not  die  !  and  think  how  dear 
Thy  life  is,  when  I  risk  so  many  lives, 
Nay,  more,  the  life  of  lives,  the  Hberty 
Of  future  generations,  not  to  be 
The  assassin  thou  miscall'st  me ; — once,  once  more 
I  do  adjure  thee,  pass  not  oVr  thy  threshold  ! 


It  is  in  vain — this  moment  I  go  forth. 


Then  perish  Venice  rather  than  my  friend  ! 
I  will  disclose — ensnare — ^betray — destroy — 
Oh,  what  a  villain  I  become  for  thee  ! 


Say,  rather  thy  friend''s  saviour  and  the  state's ! — 
Speak — pause  not — all  rewards,  all  pledges  for 
Thy  safety  and  thy  welfare ;  wealth  such  as 
The  state  accords  her  worthiest  servants ;  nay, 

SC.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  Ill 

Nobility  itself  I  guarantee  thee, 

So  that  thou  art  sincere  and  penitent. 


I  have  thought  again :  it  must  not  be — I  love  th 
Thou  knowest  it — that  I  stand  here  is  the  proof, 
Njt  least  though  last ;  but  having  done  my  duty 
By  thee,  I  now  must  do  it  by  my  country  ! 
Farewell ! — we  meet  no  more  in  life  ! — farewell ! 


What,  ho !  Antonio — Pedro — to  the  door ! 
See  that  none  pass — arrest  this  man  ! 

Enter  Antonio  and  other  armed  Domestics,  who 
seize  Bertram. 

LIONI  (continues). 

Take  care 
He  hath  no  harm ;  bring  me  my  sword  and  cloak. 
And  man  the  gondola  with  four  oars — quick — 

[Exit  Antonio. 
We  will  unto  Giovanni  Gradenigo''s, 
And  send  for  Marc  Comaro : — fear  not,  Bertram ; 
This  needful  violence  is  for  thy  safety. 
No  less  than  for  the  general  weal. 


Where  wouldst  thou 
Bear  me  a  prisoner  ? 


Firstly  to  "  the  Ten ;" 
Next  to  the  Doge. 

112  MARINO  FALIERO,  ACT  iv. 


To  the  Doge? 


Assuredly : 
Is  he  not  chief  of  the  state  ? 


Perhaps  at  sunrise —    - 


What  mean  you .?— but  we  '11  know  anon. 


Art  sure  ? 


Sure  as  all  gentle  means  can  make ;  and  if 
They  fail,  you  know  "  the  Ten'**  and  their  tribunal, 
And  that  Saint  Mark's  has  dungeons,  and  the  dungeons 
A  rack. 


Apply  it  then  before  the  dawn 
Now  hastening  into  heaven. — One  more  such  word. 
And  you  shall  perish  piecemeal,  by  the  death 
Ye  think  to  doom  to  me. 

Re-enter  Antonio. 


The  bark  is  ready, 
My  lord,  and  all  prepared. 


Look  to  the  prisoner. 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  113 

Bertram,  I  '11  reason  with  thee  as  we  go 

To  the  Magnifico's,  sage  Gradenigo.  [Ea^eunt 


The  Ducal  Palace — the  Doge's  Apartment, 
The  Doge  and  his  nephew  Bertuccio  Faliero. 


Are  all  the  people  of  our  house  in  muster  ? 


They  are  array 'd,  and  eager  for  the  signal, 
Within  our  palace  precincts  at  San  Polo.  (4) 
I  come  for  your  last  orders. 


It  had  been 
As  well  had  there  been  time  to  have  got  together 
From  my  own  fief,  Val  di  Marino,  more 
Of  our  retainers — ^but  it  is  too  late. 


Methinks,  my  lord,  'tis  better  as  it  is ; 

A  sudden  swelling  of  our  retinue 

Had  waked  suspicion ;  and,  though  fierce  and  trusty. 

The  vassals  of  that  district  are  too  rude 

And  quick  in  quarrel  to  have  long  maintained 

The  secret  discipUne  we  need  for  such 

A  service,  till  our  foes  are  dealt  upon. 

116  MARINO  FALIERO,  ACT  iv. 

Are  capable  of  turning  them  aside. — 
How  goes  the  night  ? 


Almost  upon  the  dawn. 


Then  it  is  time  to  strike  upon  the  bell. 
Are  the  men  posted  ? 


By  this  time  they  are ; 
But  they  have  orders  not  to  strike,  until 
They  have  command  from  you  through  me  in  person. 


'Tis  well. — Will  the  mom  never  put  to  rest 

These  stars  which  twinkle  yet  o^er  all  the  heavens  ? 

I  am  settled  and  bound  up,  and  being  so, 

The  very  effort  which  it  cost  me  to 

Resolve  to  cleanse  this  commonwealth  with  fire, 

Now  leaves  my  mind  more  steady.     I  have  wept, 

And  trembled  at  the  thought  of  this  dread  duty. 

But  now  I  have  put  down  all  idle  passion. 

And  look  the  growing  tempest  in  the  face. 

As  doth  the  pilot  of  an  admiral  galley : 

Yet  (wouldst  thou  think  it,  kinsman  ?)  it  hath  been 

A  greater  struggle  to  me,  than  when  nations 

Beheld  their  fate  merged  in  the  approaching  fight, 

Where  I  was  leader  of  a  phalanx,  where 

Thousands  were  sure  to  perish — Yes,  to  spill 

The  rank  polluted  current  from  the  veins 

Of  a  few  bloated  despots  needed  more 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  117 

To  steel  me  to  a  purpose  such  as  made 
Timoleon  immortal,  than  to  face 
The  toils  and  dangers  of  a  life  of  war. 


It  gladdens  me  to  see  your  former  wisdom 
Subdue  the  furies  which  so  wrung  you  ere 
You  were  decided. 


It  was  ever  thus 
With  me ;  the  hour  of  agitation  came 
In  the  first  glimmerings  of  a  purpose,  when 
Passion  had  too  much  room  to  sway ;  but  in 
The  hour  of  action  I  have  stood  as  calm 
As  were  the  dead  who  lay  around  me :  this 
They  knew  who  made  me  what  I  am,  and  trusted 
To  the  subduing  power  which  I  preserved 
Over  my  mood,  when  its  first  burst  was  spent. 
But  they  were  not  aware  that  there  are  things 
Which  make  revenge  a  virtue  by  reflection. 
And  not  an  impulse  of  mere  anger ;  though 
The  laws  sleep,  justice  wakes,  and  injured  souls 
Oft  do  a  public  right  with  private  wrong, 
And  justify  their  deeds  unto  themselves. — 
Metliinks  the  day  breaks — is  it  not  so  ?  look, 
Thine  eyes  are  clear  with  youth  ;-^tlie  air  puts  on 
A  morning  freshness,  and,  at  least  to  me, 
The  sea  looks  grayer  through  the  lattice. 


The  morn  is  dappling  in  the  sky. 

118  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  iv. 


Away  then ! 
See  that  they  strike  without  delay,  and  with 
The'  first  toll  from  St.  Mark's,  march  on  the  palace 
With  all  our  house's  strength ;  here  I  will  meet  you — 
The  Sixteen  and  their  companies  will  move 
In  separate  columns  at  the  self-same  moment — 
Be  sure  you  post  yourself  by  the  great  gate, 
I  would  not  trust  "  the  Ten"  except  to  us — 
The  rest,  the  rabble  of  patricians,  may 
Glut  the  more  careless  swords  of  those  leagued  with  us. 
Remember  that  the  cry  is  still  "  Saint  Mark  ! 
"  The  Genoese  are  come — ho !  to  the  rescue ! 
"  Saint  Mark  and  liberty  !" — Now — now  to  action  ! 


Farewell  then,  noble  uncle  !  we  will  meet 
In  freedom  and  true  sovereignty,  or  never ! 


Come  hither,  my  Bertuccio — one  embrace — 
Speed,  for  the  day  grows  broader — Send  me  soon 
A  messenger  to  tell  me  how  all  goes 
When  you  rejoin  our  troops,  and  then  sound — sound 
The  storm-bell  from  Saint  Mark's ! 

[Eirit  Bertuccio  Faliero. 
DOGE  (solm). 

He  is  gone. 
And  on  each  footstep  moves  a  life. — ^'Tis  done. 
Now  the  destroying  Angel  hovers  o'er 
Venice,  and  pauses  ere  he  pours  the  vial. 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  119 

Even  as  the  eagle  overlooks  his  prey, 

And  for  a  moment,  poised  in  middle  air, 

Suspends  the  motion  of  his  mighty  wings. 

Then  swoops  with  his  unerring  beak. — Thou  day  ! 

That  slowly  walk'st  the  waters  !  march — ^march  on — 

I  would  not  smite  i'  the  dark,  but  rather  see 

That  no  stroke  errs.     And  you,  ye  blue  sea- waves ! 

I  have  seen  you  dyed  ere  now,  and  deeply  too. 

With  Genoese,  Saracen,  and  Hunnish  gore. 

While  that  of  Venice  flow'd  too,  but  victorious : 

Now  thou  must  wear  an  unmix'd  crimson ;  no 

Barbaric  blood  can  reconcile  us  now 

Unto  that  horrible  incarnadine. 

But  friend  or  foe  ^vill  roll  in  civic  slaughter. 

And  have  I  lived  to  fourscore  years  for  this  ? 

I,  who  was  named  Preserver  of  the  City  ? 

I,  at  whose  name  the  million's  caps  were  flung 

Into  the  air,  and  cries  from  tens  of  thousands 

Rose  up,  imploring  Heaven  to  send  me  blessings. 

And  fame,  and  length  of  days — to  see  this  day  ? 

But  this  day,  black  within  the  calendar. 

Shall  be  succeeded  by  a  bright  millennium.  ^ 

Doge  Dandolo  survived  to  ninety  summers 

To  vanquish  empires,  and  refuse  their  crown ; 

I  will  resign  a  crown,  and  make  the  state 

Renew  its  freedom — ^but  oh  !  by  what  means  ? 

The  noble  end  must  justify  them — What 

Are  a  few  drops  of  human  blood  ?  'tis  false, 

The  blood  of  tyrants  is  not  human ;  they. 

118  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  iv. 


Away  then ! 
See  that  they  strike  without  delay,  and  with 
The'  first  toll  from  St.  Mark's,  march  on  the  palace 
With  all  our  house''s  strength ;  here  I  will  meet  you — 
The  Sixteen  and  their  companies  will  move 
In  separate  columns  at  the  self-same  moment — 
Be  sure  you  post  yourself  by  the  great  gate, 
I  would  not  trust  "  the  Ten"  except  to  us — 
The  rest,  the  rabble  of  patricians,  may 
Glut  the  more  careless  swords  of  those  leagued  with  us. 
Remember  that  the  cry  is  still  "  Saint  Mark  ! 
''  The  Genoese  are  come — ho !  to  the  rescue ! 
"  Saint  Mark  and  Hberty  f — Now — now  to  action ! 


Farewell  then,  noble  uncle !  we  will  meet 
In  freedom  and  true  sovereignty,  or  never ! 


Come  hither,  my  Bertuccio — one  embrace — 
Speed,  for  the  day  grows  broader — Send  me  soon 
A  messenger  to  tell  me  how  all  goes 
When  you  rejoin  our  troops,  and  then  sound — sound 
The  storm-bell  from  Saint  Mark's ! 

[Ea^it  Bertuccio  Faliero. 
DOGE  (solits). 

He  is  gone, 
And  on  each  footstep  moves  a  life. — ^'Tis  done. 
Now  the  destroying  Angel  hovers  o'er 
Venice,  and  pauses  ere  he  pours  the  vial. 


sc.  ir.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  119 

Even  as  the  eagle  overlooks  his  prey. 

And  for  a  moment,  poised  in  middle  air, 

Suspends  the  motion  of  his  mighty  wings. 

Then  swoops  with  his  unerring  beak. — ^Thou  day  ! 

That  slowly  walk'st  the  waters  !  march — ^march  on — 

I  would  not  smite  i'  the  dark,  but  rather  see 

That  no  stroke  errs.     And  you,  ye  blue  sea-waves ! 

I  have  seen  you  dyed  ere  now,  and  deeply  too, 

With  Genoese,  Saracen,  and  Hunnish  gore, 

While  that  of  Venice  flow'd  too,  but  victorious : 

Now  thou  must  wear  an  unmix''d  crimson ;  no 

Barbaric  blood  can  reconcile  us  now 

Unto  that  horrible  incarnadine. 

But  friend  or  foe  will  roll  in  civic  slaughter. 

And  have  I  lived  to  fourscore  years  for  this  ? 

I,  who  was  named  Preserver  of  the  City  ? 

I,  at  whose  name  the  million's  caps  were  flung 

Into  the  air,  and  cries  from  tens  of  thousands 

Rose  up,  imploring  Heaven  to  send  me  blessings. 

And  fame,  and  length  of  days — to  see  this  day  ? 

But  this  day,  black  within  the  calendar. 

Shall  be  succeeded  by  a  bright  millennium. 

Doge  Dandolo  survived  to  ninety  summers 

To  vanquish  empires,  and  refuse  their  crown ; 

I  will  resign  a  crown,  and  make  the  state 

Renew  its  freedom — but  oh  !  by  what  means  ? 

The  noble  end  must  justify  them — What 

Are  a  few  drops  of  human  blood  ?  'tis  false, 

The  blood  of  tyrants  is  not  human ;  they. 

120  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  iv. 

Like  to  incarnate  Molochs,  feed  on  ours, 

Until  'tis  time  to  give  them  to  the  tombs 

Which  they  have  made  so  populous. — Oh  world  ! 

Oh  men !  what  are  ye,  and  our  best  designs. 

That  we  must  work  by  crime  to  punish  crime  ? 

And  slay  as  if  Death  had  but  this  one  gate, 

When  a  few  years  would  make  the  sword  superfluous  ? 

And  I,  upon  the  verge  of  th*"  unknown  realm, 

Yet  send  so  many  heralds  on  before  me  ? — 

I  must  not  ponder  this. 

[A  pause. 
Hark  !  was  there  not 
A  murmur  as  of  distant  voices,  and 
The  tramp  of  feet  in  martial  unison  ? 
What  phantoms  even  of  sound  our  wishes  raise ! 
It  cannot  be — the  signal  hath  not  rung — 
Why  pauses  it  ?  My  nephew''s  messenger 
Should  be  upon  his  way  to  me,  and  he 
Himself  perhaps  even  now  draws  grating  back 
Upon  its  ponderous  hinge  the  steep  tower  portal. 
Where  swings  the  sullen  huge  oracular  bell. 
Which  never  knells  but  for  a  princely  death, 
Or  for  a  state  in  peril,  pealing  forth 
Tremendous  bodements ;  let  it  do  its  office, 
And  be  this  peal  its  awfullest  and  last. 
Sound  tni  the  strong  tower  rock  ! — What !  silent  still  ? 
I  would  go  forth,  but  that  my  post  is  here, 
To  be  the  centre  of  re-union  to 
The  oft  discordant  elements  which  form 

sc.  11.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  121 

Leagues  of  this  nature,  and  to  keep  compact 
The  wavering  or  the  weak,  in  case  of  conflict ; 
For  if  they  should  do  battle,  "'twill  be  here, 
Within  the  palace,  that  the  strife  will  thicken ; 
Then  here  must  be  my  station,  as  becomes 

The  master-mover. Hark  !  he  comes — he  comes, 

My  nephew,  brave  Bertuccio''s  messenger. — 
What  tidings  ?  Is  he  marching  ?  hath  he  sped  ? — 
Thei^  here ! — alPs  lost — ^yet  will  I  make  an  effort. 

JBw^a  SiGNOR  OF  THE  Night(5),  with  Gtiards,  <^c,  4-c. 


Doge,  I  arrest  thee  of  high  treason  ! 



Thy  prince,  of  treason  ? — Who  are  they  that  dare 
Cloak  their  own  treason  under  such  an  order  ? 

SIGNOR  OF  THE  NIGHT  {shoiving  Ms  ordcr,) 
Behold  my  order  from  the  assembled  Ten. 


And  where  are  they,  and  whi/  assembled  ?  no 
Such  council  can  be  lawful,  till  the  prince 
Preside  there,  and  that  duty's  mine :  on  thine 
I  charge  thee,  give  me  way,  or  marshal  me 
To  the  council  chamber. 


Duke  !  it  may  not  be ; 
Nor  are  they  in  the  wonted  Hall  of  Council, 
But  sitting  in  the  convent  of  Saint  Saviour's. 

122  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  iv. 


You  dare  to  disobey  me  then  ? 


I  serve 
The  state,  and  needs  must  serve  it  faithfully ; 
My  warrant  is  the  will  of  those  who  rule  it. 


And  till  that  warrant  has  my  signature 

It  is  illegal,  and,  as  now  applied. 

Rebellious — Hast  thou  weighed  well  thy  life''s  worth. 

That  thus  you  dare  assume  a  lawless  function  ? 


'Tis  not  my  office  to  reply,  but  act — 

I  am  placed  here  as  guard  upon  thy  person, 

And  not  as  judge  to  hear  or  to  decide. 

DOGE  {aside,) 
I  must  gain  time — So  that  the  storm-bell  sound 
All  may  be  well  yet. — Kinsman,  speed — speed — speed ! — 
Our  fate  is  trembling  in  the  balance,  and 
Woe  to  the  vanquished !  be  they  prince  and  people, 
Or  slaves  and  senate — 

[The  great  hell  of  Saint  Marie's  tolls, 
Lo !  it  sounds — it  tolls ! 
DOGE  {aloud.) 
Hark,  Signor  of  the  Night !  and  you,  ye  hirelings, 
Who  wield  your  mercenary  staves  in  fear,     . 
It  is  your  kneU — Swell  on,  thou  lusty  peal ! 
Now,  knaves,  what  ransom  for  your  lives  ? 


Confusion ! 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE. '  123 

Stand  to  your  arms,  and  guard  the  door — alPs  lost 

Unless  that  fearful  bell  be  silenced  soon. 

The  officer  hath  miss'd  his  path  or  purpose, 

Or  met  some  unforeseen  and  hideous  obstacle. 

Anselmo,  with  thy  company  proceed 

Straight  to  the  tower ;  the  rest  remain  with  me. 

[Exit  apart  of  the  Guard. 


Wretch  !  if  thou  wouldst  have  thy  vile  life,  implore  it ; 
It  is  not  now  a  lease  of  sixty  seconds. 
Ay,  send  thy  miserable  ruffians  forth ; 
They  never  shall  return. 


So  let  it  be ! 
They  die  then  in  their  duty,  as  will  I. 


Fool !  the  high  eagle  flies  at  nobler  game 
Than  thou  and  thy  base  myrmidons, — live  on, 
So  thou  provok'^st  not  peril  by  resistance. 
And  learn  (if  souls  so  much  obscured  can  beai* 
To  gaze  upon  the  sunbeams)  to  be  free.  • 


And  learn  thou  to  be  captive — It  hath  ceased, 

[The  bell  ceases  to  toU. 
The  traitorous  signal,  which  was  to  have  set 
The  bloodhound  mob  on  their  patrician  prey — 
The  knell  hath  rung,  but  it  is  not  the  senate's ! 

DOGE  (after  a  pause,) 
All 's  silent,  and  all  \  lost ! 

124  MARINO  FALIERO,  ACT  iv. 


Now,  Doge,  denounce  me 
As  rebel  slave  of  a  revolted  council ! 
Have  I  not  done  my  duty  ? 


Peace,  thou  thing ! 
Thou  hast  done  a  worthy  deed,  and  earn'd  the  price 
Of  blood,  and  they  who  use  thee  will  reward  thee. 
But  thou  wert  sent  to  watch,  and  not  to  prate, 
As  thou  said'st  even  now — then  do  thine  office. 
But  let  it  be  in  silence,  as  behoves  thee. 
Since,  though  thy  prisoner,  I  am  thy  prince. 


I  did  not  mean  to  fail  in  the  respect 

Due  to  your  rank :  in  this  I  shall  obey  you. 

DOGE  (aside.) 
There  now  is  nothing  left  me  save  to.  die ; 
And  yet  how  near  success  !  I  would  have  fallen. 
And  proudly,  in  the  hour  of  triumph,  but 
To  miss  it  thus ! 

Enter  other  Signors  of  the  Night,  with  Bertuccio 
Faliero  priswier. 


We  took  him  in  the  act 
Of  issuing  from  the  tower,  where,  at  his  order. 
As  delegated  from  the  Doge,  the  signal 
Had  thus  begun  to  sound. 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  125 


Are  all  the  passes 
Which  lead  up  to  the  palace  well  secured  ? 


They  are — ^besides,  it  matters  not ;  the  chiefs 
Are  all  in  chains,  and  some  even  now  on  trial — 
Their  followers  are  dispersed,  and  many  taken. 


Uncle ! 


It  is  in  vain  to  war  with  Fortune ; 
The  Glory  hath  departed  from  our  house. 


Who  would  have  deemed  it  ? — Ah  !  one  moment  sooner ! 


That  moment  would  have  changed  the  face  of  ages ; 
This  gives  us  to  eternity — We  '11  meet  it 
As  men  whose  triumph  is  not  in  success. 
But  who  can  make  their  own  minds  all  in  all, 
Equal  to  every  fortune.     Droop  not,  'tis 
But  a  brief  passage — I  would  go  alone. 
Yet  if  they  send  us,  as  'tis  like,  together. 
Let  us  go  worthy  of  our  sires  and  selves. 


I  shall  not  shame  you,  uncle. 


Lords,  our  orders 
Are  to  keep  guard  on  both  in  separate  chambers. 
Until  the  council  call  ye  to  your  trial. 

126  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  iv. 


Our  trial !  will  they  keep  their  mockery  up 

Even  to  the  last  ?  but  let  them  deal  upon  us, 

As  we  had  dealt  on  them,  but  with  less  pomp. 

'Tis  but  a  game  of  mutual  homicides, 

Who  have  cast  lots  for  the  first  death,  and  they 

Have  won  with  false  dice. — Who  hath  been  our  Judas  ? 


I  am  not  warranted  to  answer  that. 


I  '11  answer  for  thee — ^'tis  a  certain  Bertram, 
Even  now  deposing  to  the  secret  giunta. 


Bertram,  the  Bergamask !  With  what  vile  tools 
We  operate  to  slay  or  save !  This  creature. 
Black  with  a  double  treason,  now  will  earn 
Rewards  and  honours,  and  be  stamp'd  in  story 
With  the  geese  in  the  Capitol,  which  gabbled 
Till  Rome  awoke,  and  had  an  annual  triumph. 
While  Manhus,  who  hurPd  down  the  Gauls,  was  cast 
From  the  Tarpeian. 


He  aspired  to  treason, 
And  sought  to  rule  the  state. 


He  saved  the  state. 
And  sought  but  to  reform  what  he  revived — 
But  this  is  idle Come,  sirs,  do  your  work. 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  127 


Noble  Bertuccio,  we  must  now  remove  you 
Into  an  inner  chamber. 


Farewell,  uncle ! 
If  we  shall  meet  again  in  life  I  know  not, 
But  they  perhaps  will  let  our  ashes  mingle. 


Yes,  and  our  spirits,  which  shall  yet  go  forth, 

And  do  what  our  frail  clay,  thus  clogg'd,  hath  fail'd  in ! 

They  cannot  quench  the  memory  of  those 

Who  would  have  hurPd  them  from  their  guilty  thrones, 

And  such  examples  will  find  heirs,  though  distant. 

END    OF    ACT    IV. 


ACT  v.— SCENE  I. 

The  Hall  of  the  Council  of  Ten  assembled  with  the  ad- 
ditional Senators,  who,  on  the  Trials  of  the  Conspirators 
for  the  Treason  o/^Marino  Faliero,  composed  wliat 
was  called  the  Giunta. — Guards,  Officers,  <^c.  <^c. — 
Israel  Bertuccio  and  Philip  Calendar©  as  Pri- 
soners.— Bertram,  Lioni,  and  Witnesses,  ^c. 

The  Chief  of  the  Ten,  Benintende. 

There  now  rests,  after  such  conviction  of 
Their  manifold  and  manifest  offences. 
But  to  pronounce  on  these  obdurate  men 
The  sentence  of  the  law :  a  grievous  task 
To  those  who  hear,  and  these  who  speak.     Alas  I 
That  it  should  fall  to  me  !  and  that  my  days 
Of  office  should  be  stigmatised  through  all 
The  years  of  coming  time,  as  bearing  record 
To  this  most  foul  and  compHcated  treason 
Against  a  just  and  free  state,  known  to  all 
The  earth  as  being  the  Christian  bulwai'k  "'gainst 
The  Saracen  and  the  schismatic  Greek, 

SC.  I. 


The  savage  Hun,  and  not  less  barbarous  Frank ; 
A  city  which  has  open'd  India's  wealth 
To  Europe ;  the  last  Roman  refuge  from 
Overwhelming  Attila ;  the  ocean's  queen ; 
Proud  Genoa's  prouder  rival !  'Tis  to  sap 
The  throne  of  such  a  city,  these  lost  men 
Have  risk'd  and  forfeited  their  worthless  lives — 
So  let  them  die  the  death. 


We  are  prepared ; 
Your  racks  have  done  that  for  us.     Let  us  die. 


If  ye  have  that  to  say  which  would  obtain 
Abatement  of  your  punishment,  the  Giunta 
Will  hear  you ;  if  you  have  aught  to  confess. 
Now  is  your  time,  perhaps  it  may  avail  ye. 


We  stand  to  hear,  and  not  to  speak. 


Your  crimes 
Are  fully  proved  by  your  accomplices. 
And  all  which  circumstance  can  add  to  aid  them ; 
Yet  we  would  hear  from  your  own  Hps  complete 
Avowal  of  your  treason :  on  the  verge 
Of  that  dread  gulf  which  none  repass,  the  truth 
Alone  can  profit  you  on  earth  or  heaven — 
Say,  then,  what  was  your  motive  ? 


Justice ! 



Your  object  ? 



Freedom ! 


You  are  brief,  sir. 


So  my  life  grows :  I 
Was  bred  a  soldier,  not  a  senator. 


Perhaps  you  think  by  this  blunt  brevity 

To  brave  your  judges  to  postpone  the  sentence  ? 


Do*  you  be  brief  as  I  am,  and  believe  me, 
I  shall  prefer  that  mercy  to  your  pardon. 


Is  this  your  sole  reply  to  the  tribunal  ? 


Go,  ask  your  racks  what  they  have  wrung  from  us. 

Or  place  us  there  again ;  we  have  still  some  blood  left. 

And  some  slight  sense  of  pain  in  these  wrencVd  limbs : 

But  this  ye  dare  not  do ;  for  if  we  die  there — 

And  you  have  left  us  little  life  to  spend 

Upon  your  engines,  gorged  with  pangs  already — 

Ye  lose  the  public  spectacle  with  which 

You  would  appal  your  slaves  to  further  slavery ! 

Groans  are  not  words,  nor  agony  assent. 

Nor  affirmation  truth,  if  nature''s  sense 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  131 

Should  overcome  the  soul  into  a  lie, 

For  a  short  respite — must  we  bear  or  die  ? 


Say,  who  were  your  accomplices  ? 


The  Senate ! 


What  do  you  mean  ? 


Ask  of  the  suffering  people. 
Whom  your  patrician  crimes  have  driven  to  crime. 


You  know  the  Doge  ? 


I  served  with  him  at  Zara 
In  the  field,  when  you  were  pleading  here  your  way 
To  present  office ;  we  exposed  our  lives, 
While  you  but  hazarded  the  lives  of  others, 
Alike  by  accusation  or  defence ; 
And,  for  the  rest,  all  Venice  knows  her  Doge, 
Through  his  great  actions,  and  the  senate"*s  insults ! 


You  have  held  conference  with  him  ? 


I  am  weary — 
Even  wearier  of  your  questions  than  your  tortures : 
I  pray  you  pass  to  judgment. 


It  is  coming. — 



And  you,  too,  Philip  Calendaro,  what  '  <   jjv  :   : 

Have  you  to  say  why  you  should  not  be  doom''d  ? 


I  never  was  a  man  of  many  words,  '•      ^V  - 

And  now  have  few  left  worth  the  utterance. 


A  further  application  of  yon  engine 
May  change  your  tpne. 


Most  true,  it  will  do  so ; 
A  former  application  did  so ;  but 
It  will  not  change  my.  words,  or,  if  it  did 


What  then  ? 


Will  my  avowal  on  yon  rack 
Stand  good  in  law  ? 




The  culprit  be  whom  I  accuse  of  treason  ? 


Without  doubt,  he  will  be  brought  up  to  trial. 


And  on  this  testimony  would  he  perish  ? 

BENINTENDE.  ,  j  •■.__  ^ 

So  your  confession  be  detaiPd  and  full, 
He  will  stand  here  in  peril  of  his  life. 


sc.  r.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  133 


Then  look  well  to  thy  proud  self,  President ! 
For  by  the  eternity  which  yawns  before  me, 
I  swear  that  tliou,  and  only  thou,  shalt  be 
The  traitor  I  denounce  upon  that  rack. 
If  I  be  stretchM  there  for  the  second  time. 

ONE    OF    THE    GIUNTA. 

Lord  President,  "'twere  best  proceed  to  judgment; 
There  is  no  more  to  be  drawn  from  these  men. 


Unhappy  men  !  prepare  for  instant  death. 
The  nature  of  your  crime — our  law — ^and  peril 
The  state  now  stands  in,  leave  not  an  hour'^s  respite — 
Guards !  lead  them  forth,  and  upon  the  balcony 
Of  the  red  columns,  where,  on  festal  Thursday  (c), 
The  Doge  stands  to  behold  the  chase  of  bulls, 
Let  them  be  justified :  and  leave  exposed 
Their  wavering  relics,  in  the  place  of  judgment. 
To  the  full  view  of  the  assembled  people  ! — 
And  Heaven  have  mercy  on  their  souls ! 


Amen ! 


Signors,  farewell !  we  shall  not  all  again 
Meet  in  one  place. 


And  lest  they  should  essay 
To  stir  up  the  distracted  multitude — 
Guards !  let  their  mouths  be  gagg'd  (7),  even  in  the  act 
Of  execution. — Lead  them  hence  ! 

134  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  v. 


What !  must  we 
Not  even  say  farewell  to  some  fond  friend, 
Nor  leave  a  last  word  with  our  confessor  ? 


A  priest  is  waiting  in  the  ante-chamber ; 

But,  for  your  friends,  such  interviews  would  be 

Painful  to  them,  and  useless  all  to  you. 


I  knew  that  we  were  gagg'd  in  hfe ;  at  least, 
All  those  who  had  not  heart  to  risk  their  hves 
Upon  their  open  thoughts ;  but  still  I  deem'^d 
That,  in  the  last  few  moments,  the  same  idle 
Freedom  of  speech  accorded  to  the  dying, 
Would  not  now  be  denied  to  us ;  but  since 


Even  let  them  have  their  way,  brave  Calendaro  1 
What  matter  a  few  syllables  ?  let  ""s  die 
Without  the  slightest  show  of  favour  from  them  ; 
So  shall  our  blood  more  readily  arise 
To  heaven  against  them,  and  more  testify 
To  their  atrocities,  than  could  a  volume 
Spoken  or  written  of  our  dying  words  ! 
They  tremble  at  our  voices — ^nay,  they  dread 
Our  very  silence — let  them  hve  in  fear  ! — 
Leave  them  unto  their  thoughts,  and  let  us  now 
Address  our  own  above  ! — Lead  on  ;  we  are  ready. 


Israel,  hadst  thou  but  hearkened  unto  me. 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  135 

It  had  not  now  been  thus ;  and  yon  pale  villain. 
The  coward  Bertram,  would 


Peace,  Calendaro! 
What  brooks  it  now  to  ponder  upon  this  ? 


Alas !  I  fain  you  died  in  peace  with  me : 
I  did  not  seek  this  task ;  'twas  forced  upon  me : 
Say,  you  forgive  me,  though  I  never  can 
Retrieve  my  own  forgiveness — frown  not  thus ! 


I  die  and  pardon  thee  ! 

CALENDARO  (spitting'  at  him). 

I  die  and  scorn  thee  ! 
[Exeunt  Israel  Bertuccio  and  Philip  Calen- 
daro, Gtuirds,  <^c. 

Now  that  these  criminals  have  been  disposed  of, 
'Tis  time  that  we  proceed  to  pass  our  sentence 
Upon  the  greatest  traitor  upon  record 
In  any  annals,  the  Doge  Faliero ! 
The  proofs  and  process  are  complete ;  the  time 
And  crime  require  a  quick  procedure :  shall 
He  now  be  called  in  to  receive  the  award  ? 
THE  giunti. 

Ay,  ay. 


Avogadori,  order  that  the  Doge 
Be  brought  before  the  council. 

136  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  V. 

ONE    OF    THE    GIUNTI. 

And  the  rest, 
When  shall  they  be  brought  up  ? 


When  all  the  chiefs 
Have  been  disposed  of.     Some  have  fled  to  Chiozza ; 
But  there  are  thousands  in  pursuit  of  them, 
And  such  precaution  ta'en  on  terra  firma, 
As  well  as  in  the  islands,  that  we  hope 
None  will  escape  to  utter  in  strange  lands 
His  libellous  tale  of  treasons  'gainst  the  senate. 

Enter  the  Doge  as  Prisoner^  with  Guards,  ^c.  ^c. 


Doge — for  such  still  you  are,  and  by  the  law 

Must  be  considered,  till  the  hour  shall  come 

When  you  must  doff  the  ducal  bonnet  from 

That  head,  which  could  not  wear  a  crown  more  noble 

Than  empires  can  confer,  in  quiet  honour, 

But  it  must  plot  to  overthrow  your  peers, 

Who  made  you  what  you  are,  and  quench  in  blood 

A  city's  glory — we  have  laid  already 

Before  you  in  your  chamber  at  full  length, 

By  the  Avogadori,  all  the  proofs 

Which  have  appeared  against  you ;  and  more  ample 

Ne'^er  rear'd  their  sanguinary  shadows  to 

Confront  a  traitor.     What  have  you  to  say 

In  your  defence  ? 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  137 


What  shall  I  say  to  ye, 
Since  my  defence  must  be  your  condemnation  ? 
You  are  at  once  offenders  and  accusers, 
Judges  and  executioners ! — Proceed 
Upon  your  power. 


Your  chief  accomplices 
Having  confess^,  there  is  no  hope  for  you. 

DOGE.  - 

And  who  be  they  ? 


In  number  many ;  but 
The  first  now  stands  before  you  in  the  court, 
Bertram,  of  Bergamo, — would  you  question  him  ? 

DOGE  (looking'  at  him  contemptiumsly). 


And  two  Others,  Israel  Bertuccio, 
And  Phihp  Calendaro,  have  admitted 
Their  fellowship  in  treason  with  the  Doge ! 


And  where  are  they .? 


Gone  to  their  place,  and  now 
Answering  to  Heaven  for  what  they  did  on  earth. 


Ah  !  the  plebeian  Brutus,  is  he  gone  ? 
And  the  quick  Cassius  of  the  arsenal .'' — 
How  did  they  meet  their  doom  ? 



Think  of  your  own ; 
It  is  approaching.     You  dedine  to  plead,  then  ? 


I  cannot  plead  to  my  inferiors,  nor 

Can  recognise  your  legal  power  to  try  me : 

Show  me  the  law  ! 


On  great  emergencies, 
The  law  must  be  remodelPd  or  amended : 
Our  fathers  had  not  fixM  the  punishment 
Of  such  a  crime,  as  on  the  old  Roman  tables 
The  sentence  against  parricide  was  left 
In  pure  forgetfulness ;  they  could  not  render 
That  penal,  which  had  neither  name  nor  thought 
In  their  great  bosoms :  who  would  have  foreseen 
That  nature  could  be  filed  to  such  a  crime 
As  sons  'gainst  sires,  and  princes  'gainst  their  realms .'' 
Your  sin  hath  made  us  make  a  law  which  will 
Become  a  precedent  'gainst  such  haught  traitors, 
As  would  with  treason  mount  to  tyranny ; 
Not  even  contented  with  a  sceptre,  till 
They  can  convert  it  to  a  two-edged  sword ! 
Was  not  the  place  of  Doge  sufficient  for  ye  ? 
What 's  nobler  than  the  signory  of  Venice  ? 


The  signory  of  Venice  !  You  betray'd  me — 
Ymi—you^  who  sit  there,  traitors  as  ye  are ! 
From  my  equality  with  you  in  birth, 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  139 

And  my  superiority  in  action, 

You  drew  me  from  my  honourable  toils 

In  distant  lands — on  flood — in  field — in  cities — 

You  singled  me  out  like  a  victim  to 

Stand  crownM,  but  bound  and  helpless,  at  the  altar 

Where  you  alone  could  minister.     I  knew  not — 

I  sought  not — wisVd  not — dreamM  not  the  election, 

Which  reach'*d  me  first  at  Rome,  and  I  obey'd ; 

But  found  on  my  arrival,  that,  besides 

The  jealous  vigilance  which  always  led  you 

To  mock  and  mar  your  sovereign's  best  intents, 

You  had,  even  in  the  interregnum  of 

My  journey  to  the  capital,  curtailed 

And  mutilated  the  few  privileges 

Yet  left  the  duke :  all  this  I  bore,  and  would 

Have  borne,  until  my  very  hearth  was  stained 

By  the  pollution  of  your  ribaldry. 

And  he,  the  ribald,  whom  I  see  amongst  you — 

Fit  judge  in  such  tribunal ! 

BENINTENDE  (interrupting'  him), 
Michel  Steno 
Is  here  in  virtue  of  his  office,  as 
One  of  the  Forty ;  "  the  Ten"  having  craved 
A  Giunta  of  patricians  from  the  senate 
To  aid  our  judgment  in  a  trial  arduous 
And  novel  as  the  present :  he  was  set 
Free  from  the  penalty  pronounced  upon  him. 
Because  the  Doge,  who  should  protect  the  law. 
Seeking  to  abrogate  all  law,  can  claim 

140  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  v. 

No  punishment  of  others  by  the  statutes 
Which  he  himself  denies  and  violates ! 


His  PUNISHMENT  !  I  rather  see  him  there^ 
Where  he  now  sits,  to  glut  him  with  my  death, 
Than  in  the  mockery  of  castigation. 
Which  your  foul,  outward,  juggling  show  of  justice 
Decreed  as  sentence  !  Base  as  was  his  crime, 
""Twas  purity  compared  with  your  protection. 


And  can  it  be,  that  the  great  Doge  of  Venice, 
With  three  parts  of  a  century  of  years 
And  honours  on  his  head,  could  thus  allow 
His  fury,  like  an  angry  boy"'s,  to  master 
All  feeling,  wisdom,  faith,  and  fear,  on  such 
A  provocation  as  a  young  man^^s  petulance  ? 


A  spark  creates  the  flame ;  'tis  the  last  drop 
Which  makes  the  cup  run  o'er,  and  mine  was  full 
Already :  you  oppressed  the  prince  and  people ; 
I  would  have  freed  both,  and  have  failed  in  both : 
The  price  of  such  success  would  have  been  glory, 
Vengeance,  and  victory,  and  such  a  name 
As  would  have  made  Venetian  history 
Rival  to  that  of  Greece  and  Syracuse 
When  they  were  freed,  and  flourished  ages  after, 
And  mine  to  Gelon  and  to  Thrasybulus : — 
Failing,  I  know  the  penalty  of  failure 
Is  present  infamy  and  death — the  future 

sc.  1.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  141 

Will  judge,  when  Venice  is  no  more,  or  free ; 
Till  then,  the  truth  is  in  abeyance.     Pause  not ; 
I  would  have  shown  no  mercy,  and  I  seek  none ; 
My  life  was  staked  upon  a  mighty  hazard, 
And  being  lost,  take  what  I  would  have  taken  ! 
I  would  have  stood  alone  amidst  your  tombs  ; 
Now  you  may  flock  round  mine,  and  trample  on  it, 
As  you  have  done  upon  my  heart  while  living. 


You  do  confess  then,  and  admit  the  justice 
Of  our  tribunal  ? 


I  confess  to  have  faiPd  ; 
Fortune  is  female :  from  my  youth  her  favours 
Were  not  withheld,  the  fault  was  mine  to  hojxj 
Her  former  smiles  again  at  this  late  hour. 


You  do  not  then  in  aught  arraign  our  equity  ? 


Noble  Venetians !  stir  me  not  with  questions. 
I  am  resigned  to  the  worst ;  but  in  me  still 
Have  something  of  the  blood  of  brighter  days. 
And  am  not  over-patient.     Bray  you,  spare  me 
Further  interrogation,  which  boots  nothing, 
Except  to  turn  a  trial  to  debate. 
I  shall  but  answer  that  which  will  offend  you, 
And  please  your  enemies — a  host  already ; 
■^Tis  true,  these  sullen  walls  should  yield  no  echo : 

142  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  v. 

But  walls  have  ears — nay,  more,  they  have  tongues ;  and  if 

There  were  no  other  way  for  truth  to  o''erleap  them, 

You  who  condemn  me,  you  who  fear  and  slay  me, 

Yet  could  not  bear  in  silence  to  your  graves 

What  you  would  hear  from  me  of  good  or  evil ; 

The  secret  were  too  mighty  for  your  souls : 

Then  let  it  sleep  in  mine,  unless  you  court 

A  danger  which  would  dpuble  that  you  escape. 

Such  my  defence  would  be,  had  I  full  scope 

To  make  it  famous ;  for  true  words  are  things. 

And  dying  men's  are  things  which  long  outlive. 

And  oftentimes  avenge  them ;  bury  mine. 

If  ye  would  fain  survive  me :  take  this  counsel, 

And  though  too  oft  ye  made  me  live  in  wrath. 

Let  me  die  calmly  ;  you  may  grant  me  this ; — 

I  deny  nothing — defend  notliing — nothing 

I  ask  of  you,  but  silence  for  myself, 

And  sentence  from  the  court ! 


This  full  admission 
Spares  us  the  harsh  necessity  of  ordering 
The  torture  to  elicit  the  whole  truth. 


The  torture  !  you  have  put  me  there  already, 

Daily  since  I  was  Doge ;  but  if  you  will 

Add  the  corporeal  rack,  you  may :  these  limbs 

WiU  yield  with  age  to  crushing  iron ;  but 

There 's  that  within  my  heart  shall  strain  your  engines. 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  143 

Enter  an  Officer. 


Noble  Venetians  !  Duchess  Faliero 
Requests  admission  to  the  Giunta's  presence. 


Say,  conscript  fathers  (^),  shall  she  be  admitted  ? 

ONE    OF    THE    GIUNTA. 

She  may  have  revelations  of  importance 
Unto  the  state,  to  justify  compliance 
With  her  request. 


Is  this  the  general  will  ? 


It  is. 


Oh,  admirable  laws  of  Venice  ! 
Which  would  admit  the  wife,  in  the  full  hope 
That  she  might  testify  against  the  husband. 
What  glory  to  the  chaste  Venetian  dames  ! 
But  such  blasphemers  'gainst  all  honour,  as 
Sit  here,  do  well  to  act  in  their  vocation. 
Now,  villain  Steno  !  if  this  woman  fail, 
I  '11  pardon  thee  thy  lie,  and  thy  escape. 
And  my  own  violent  death,  and  thy  vile  life. 

The  Duchess  enters.  ^ 


Lady  !  this  just  tribunal  has  resolved. 

144  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  v. 

Though  the  request  be  strange,  to  grant  it,  and 
Whatever  be  its  purport,  to  accord 
A  patient  hearing  with  the  due  respect 
Which  fits  your  ancestry,  your  rank,  and  virtues : 
But  you  turn  pale — ^ho  !  there,  look  to  the  lady  ! 
Place  a  chair  instantly. 


A  moment^s  faintness — 
''Tis  past ;  I  pray  you  pardon  me,  I  sit  not 
In  presence  of  my  prince,  and  of  my  husband. 
While  he  is  on  his  feet. 


Your  pleasure,  lady  ? 


Strange  rumours,  but  most  true,  if  all  I  hear 
And  see  be  sooth,  have  reach''d  me,  and  I  come 
To  know  the  worst,  even  at  the  worst ;  forgive 
The  abruptness  of  my  entrance  and  my  bearing. 

Is  it 1  cannot  speak — I  cannot  shape 

The  question — ^but  you  answer  it  ere  spoken, 
With  eyes  averted,  and  with  gloomy  brows — 
Oh  God  !  this  is  the  silence  of  the  grave  ! 

BENINTENDE  {after  a  pause). 
Spare  us,  and  spare  thyself  the  repetition 
Of  our  most  awful,  but  inexorable 
Duty  to  heaven  and  man  ! 


Yet  speak ;  I  cannot — 
I  cannot — no — even  now  believe  these  things. 
\%he  condemned  ? 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  145 




And  was  he  guilty  ? 


Lady  !  the  natural  distraction  of 

Thy  thoughts  at  such  a  moment  make  the  question 

Merit  forgiveness ;  else  a  doubt  like  this 

Against  a  just  and  paramount  tribunal 

Were  deep  offence.     But  question  even  the  Doge, 

And  if  he  can  deny  the  proofs,  believe  him 

Guiltless  as  thy  own  bosom. 


Is  it  so .'' 
My  lord — my  sovereign — my  poor  father's  friend — 
The  mighty  in  the  field,  the  sage  in  council ; 
Unsay  the  words  of  this  man  i — Thou  art  silent ! 


He  hath  already  own'd  to  his  own  guilt, 
Nor,  as  thou  seest,  doth  he  deny  it  now. 


Ay,  but  he  must  not  die  !  Spare  his  few  years, 
Which  grief  and  shame  will  soon  cut  down  to  days ' 
One  day  of  bafBed  crime  must  not  efface 
Near  sixteen  lustres  crowded  with  brave  acts. 


His  doom  must  be  fulfilPd  without  remission 
Of  time  or  penalty — ^tis  a  decree. 




He  hath  been  guilty,  but  there  may  be  mercy. 


Not  in  this  case  with  justice. 


Alas !  signor, 
He  who  is  only  just  is  cruel ;  who 
Upon  the  earth  would  live  were  all  judged  justly  ? 


His  punishment  is  safety  to  the  state. 


He  was  a  subject,  and  hath  served  the  state ; 
He  was  your  general,  and  hath  saved  the  state ; 
He  is  your  sovereign,  and  hath  ruled  the  state. 


He  is  a  traitor,  and*  betray''d  the  state. 


And,  but  for  him,  there  now  had  been  no  state 
To  save  or  to  destroy ;  and  you  who  sit 
There  to  pronounce  the  death  of  your  deliverer, 
Had  now  been  groaning  at  a  Moslem  oar, 
Or  digging  in  the  Hunnish  mines  in  fetters ! 


No,  lady,  there  are  others  who  would  die 
Rather  than  breathe  in  slavery  ! 


If  there  are  so 
Within  these  walls,  thmi  art  not  of  the  number : 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  147 

The  truly  brave  are  generous  to  the  fallen  ! — 
Is  tliere  no  hope  ? 


Lady,  it  cannot  be. 
ANGIOLINA  (turning'  to  the  doge). 
Then  die,  Faliero  !  since  it  must  be  so ; 
But  with  the  spirit  of  my  father's  friend. 
Thou  hast  been  guilty  of  a  great  offence, 
Half-canceird  by  the  harshness  of  these  men. 
I  would  have  sued  to  them — ^have  pray'd  to  them — 
Have  beggM  as  famish'd  mendicants  for  bread — 
Have  wept  as  they  will  cry  unto  their  God 
For  mercy,  and  be  answered  as  they  answer — 
Had  it  been  fitting  for  thy  name  or  mine. 
And  if  the  cruelty  in  their  cold  eyes 
Had  not  announced  the  heartless  wrath  within. 
Then,  as  a  prince,  address  thee  to  thy  doom ! 


I  have  lived  too  long  not  to  know  how  to  die  ! 

Thy  suing  to  these  men  were  but  the  bleating 

Of  the  lamb  to  the  butcher,  or  the  cry 

Of  seamen  to  the  surge :  I  would  not  take 

A  life  eternal,  granted  at  the  hands 

Of  wretches,  from  whose  monstrous  villanies 

I  sought  to  free  the  groaning  nations  ! 


A  word  with  thee,  and  with  this  noble  lady, 
Whom  I  have  grievously  offended.     Would 

l2  - 


Sorrow,  or  shame,  or  penance  on  my  part, 
Could  cancel  the  inexorable  past ! 
But  since  that  cannot  be,  as  Christians  let  us 
Say  farewell,  and  in  peace :  with  full  contrition 
I  crave,  not  pardon,  but  compassion  from  you. 
And  give,  however  weak,  my  prayers  for  both, 


Sage  Benintende,  now  chief  judge  of  Venice, 

I  speak  to  thee  in  answer  to  yon  signor. 

Inform  the  ribald  Steno,  that  his  words 

Ne'er  weighed  in  mind  with  Loredano's  daughter 

Further  than  to  create  a  moment's  pity 

For  such  as  he  is :  would  that  others  had 

Despised  him  as  I  pity  !  I  prefer 

My  honour  to  a  thousand  lives,  could  such 

Be  multiphed  in  mine,  but  would  not  have 

A  single  life  of  others  lost  for  that 

Which  nothing  human  can  impugn — the  sense 

Of  virtue,  looking  not  to  what  is  called 

A  good  name  for  reward,  but  to  itself. 

To  me  the  scorner's  words  were  as  the  wind 

Unto  the  rock :  but  as  there  are — alas ! 

Spirits  more  sensitive,  on  which  such  things 

Light  as  the  whirlwind  on  the  waters ;  souls 

To  whom  dishonour's  shadow  is  a  substance 

More  terrible  than  death  here  and  hereafter ; 

Men  whose  vice  is  to  start  at  vice's  scoffing. 

And  who,  though  proof  against  all  blandishments 

Of  pleasure,  and  all  pangs  of  pain,  are  feeble 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  149 

When  the  proud  name  on  which  they  pinnacled 

Their  hopes  is  breathed  on,  jealous  as  the  eagle 

Of  her  high  aiery  ;  let  what  we  now 

Uehold,  and  feel,  and  suffer,  be  a  lesson 

To  wretches  how  they  tamper  in  their  spleen 

With  beings  of  a  higher  order.     Insects 

Have  made  the  lion  mad  ere  now ;  a  shaft 

I'  the  heel  overthrew  the  bravest  of  the  brave ; 

A  wife'^s  dishonour  was  the  bane  of  Troy ; 

A  wife's  dishonour  unking''d  Rome  for  ever ; 

An  injured  husband  brought  the  Gauls  to  Clusium, 

And  thence  to  Rome,  which  perish'd  for  a  time ; 

An  obscene  gesture  cost  Caligula 

His  life,  while  Earth  yet  bore  his  cruelties ; 

A  virgin'^s  wrong  made  Spain  a  Moorish  province ; 

And  Steno's  He,  couch''d  in  two  worthless  lines, 

Hath  decimated  Venice,  put  in  peril 

A  senate  which  hath  stood  eight  hundred  years. 

Discrowned  a  prince,  cut  off"  his  crownless  head. 

And  forged  new  fetters  for  a  groaning  people ! 

Let  the  poor  wretch,  Hke  to  the  courtesan 

Who  fired  Persepolis,  be  proud  of  this, 

If  it  so  please  him — ^'twere  a  pride  fit  for  him ! 

But  let  him  not  insult  the  last  hours  of 

Him,  who,  whatever  he  now  is,  was  a  hero, 

By  the  intrusion  of  his  very  prayers ; 

Nothing  of  good  can  come  from  such  a  source. 

Nor  would  we  aught  with  him,  nor  now,  nor  ever ; 

We  leave  him  to  himself,  that  lowest  depth 


Of  human  baseness.     Pardon  is  for  men, 
And  not  for  reptiles — we  have  none  for  Steno, 
And  no  resentment ;  things  hke  him  must  sting. 
And  higher  beings  suffer :  'tis  the  charter 
Of  Hfe.     The  man  who  dies  by  the  adder's  fang 
May  have  the  crawler  crush'd,  but  feels  no  anger : 
'Twas  the  worm's  nature ;  and  some  men  are  worms 
In  soul,  more  than  the  hving  things  of  tombs. 


Signor  !  complete  that  which  you  deem  your  duty. 


Before  we  can  proceed  upon  that  duty, 
We  would  request  the  princess  to  withdraw ; 
"Twill  move  her  too  much  to  be  witness  to  it, 


I  know  it  will,  and  yet  I  must  endure  it. 
For  'tis  a  part  of  mine — I  will  not  quit, 
Except  by  force,  my  husband's  side. — Proceed  i 
Nay,  fear  not  either  shriek,  or  sigh,  or  tear ; 
Though  my  heart  burst,  it  shall  be  silent. — Speak  i 
I  have  that  mthin  which  shall  o'ermaster  all. 


Marino  Faliero,  Doge  of  Venice, 

Count  of  Val  di  Marino,  Senator, 

And  some  time  General  of  the  Fleet  and  Army, 

Noble  Venetian,  many  times  and  oft 

Entrusted  by  the  state  with  high  employments, 

Even  to  the  highest,  listen  to  the  sentence. 

Convict  by  many  witnesses  and  proofs, 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OP  VENICE.  151 

And  by  thine  own  confession,  of  the  guilt 

Of  treachery  and  treason,  yet  unheard  of 

Until  this  trial — the  decree  is  deatli. 

Thy  goods  are  confiscate  unto  the  state. 

Thy  name  is  razed  from  out  her  records,  save 

Upon  a  public  day  of  thanksgiving 

For  this  our  most  miraculous  deliverance. 

When  thou  art  noted  in  our  calendars 

With  earthquakes,  pestilence,  and  foreign  foes. 

And  the  great  enemy  of  man,  as  subject 

Of  grateful  masses  for  Heaven's  grace  in  snatching 

Our  Uves  and  country  from  thy  wickedness. 

The  place  wherein  as  Doge  thou  shouldst  be  painted. 

With  thine  illustrious  predecessors,  is 

To  be  left  vacant,  with  a  death-black  veil 

Flung  over  these  dim  words  engraved  beneath, — 

"  This  place  is  of  Marino  Faliero, 

"  Decapitated  for  his  crimes."" 


What  crimes  ? 
Were  it  not  better  to  record  the  facts, 
So  that  the  contemplator  might  approve. 
Or  at  the  least  learn  whence  the  crimes  arose  ? 
When  the  beholder  knows  a  Doge  conspired. 
Let  him  be  told  the  cause — it  is  your  history. 


Time  must  reply  to  that ;  our  sons  will  judge 
Their  fathers'*  judgment,  which  I  now  pronounce. 
As  Doge,  clad  in  the  ducal  robes  and  cap. 

152  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  v. 

Thou  shalt  be  led  hence  to  the  Giant's  Staircase, 

Where  thou  and  all  our  princes  are  invested ; 

And  there,  the  ducal  crown  being  first  resumed 

Upon  the  spot  where  it  was  first  assumed. 

Thy  head  shall  be  struck  off;  and  Heaven  have  mercy 

Upon  my  soul ! 


Is  this  the  Giunta's  sentence  ? 


It  is, 


I  can  endure  it. — And  the  time  ? 


Must  be  immediate. — Make  thy  peace  with  God ; 
Within  an  hour  thou  must  be  in  his  presence. 


I  am  already ;  and  my  blood  will  rise 
To  Heaven  before  the  souls  of  those  who  shed  it- 
Are  all  my  lands  confiscated  ? 


They  are ; 
And  goods,  and  jewels,  and  all  kind  of  treasure, 
Except  two  thousand  ducats — these  dispose  of. 


That's  harsh, — I  would  have  fain  reserved  the  lands 
Near  to  Treviso,  which  I  hold  by  investment 
From  Laurence  the  Count-bishop  of  Ceneda, 
In  fief  perpetual  to  myself  and  heirs, 
To  portion  them  (leaving  my  city  spoil, 

sc.  I.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  153 

My  palace  and  my  treasures,  to  your  forfeit) 
Between  my  consort  and  my  kinsmen. 


Lie  under  the  state's  ban ;  their  chief,  thy  nephew. 
In  peril  of  his  own  life ;  but  the  council 
Postpones  his  trial  for  the  present.     If 
Thou  wilFst  a  state  unto  thy  widowed  princess, 
Fear  not,  for  we  will  do  her  justice. 


I  share  not  in  your  spoil !   From  henceforth,  know 
I  am  devoted  unto  God  alone. 
And  take  my  refuge  in  the  cloister. 


The  hour  may  be  a  hard  one,  but  'twill  end. 
Have  I  aught  else  to  undergo  save  death  ? 


You  have  nought  to  do,  except  confess  and  die. 
The  priest  is  robed,  the  scimitar  is  bare, 
And  both  await  without. — But,  above  all. 
Think  not  to  speak  unto  the  people ;  they 
Are  now  by  thousands  swarming  at  the  gates, 
But  these  are  closed :  the  Ten,  the  Avogadori, 
The  Giunta,  and  the  chief  men  of  the  Forty, 
Alone  will  be  beholders  of  thy  doom. 
And  they  are  ready  to  attend  the  Doge. 

154  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  v. 


The  Doge ! 


Yes,  Doge,  thou  hast  lived  and  thou  shalt  die 

A  sovereign ;  till  the  moment  which  precedes 

The  separation*  of  that  head  and  trunk. 

That  ducal  crown  and  head  shall  be  united. 

Thou  hast  forgot  thy  dignity  in  deigning 

To  plot  with  petty  traitors ;  not  so  we. 

Who  in  the  very  punishment  acknowledge 

The  prince.     Thy  vile  accompUces  have  died 

The  dog's  death,  and  the  wolTs ;  but  thou  shalt  fall 

As  falls  the  lion  by  the  hunters,  girt 

By  those  who  feel  a  proud  compassion  for  thee. 

And  mourn  even  the  inevitable  death 

Provoked  by  thy  wild  wrath,  and  regal  fierceness. 

Now  we  remit  thee  to  thy  preparation : 

Let  it  be  brief,  and  we  ourselves  will  be 

Thy  guides  unto  the  place  where  first  we  were 

United  to  thee  as  thy  subjects,  and 

Thy  senate ;  and  must  now  be  parted  from  thee 

As  such  for  ever,  on  the  self-same  spot. — 

Guards !  form  the  Doge's  escort  to  his  chamber. 


sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  155 


The  Doge's  Apartment, 
The  Doge  as  prisoner^  and  tlie  Duchess  attending  him. 


Now  that  the  priest  is  gone,  't  were  useless  all 

To  linger  out  the  miserable  minutes ; 

But  one  pang  more,  the  pang  of  parting  from  thee, 

And  I  will  leave  the  few  last  grains  of  sand, 

Which  yet  remain  of  the  accorded  hour, 

Still  falling — I  have  done  with  Time. 


And  I  have  been  the  cause,  the  unconscious  (iause ; 
And  for  this  funeral  marriage,  this  black  union, 
Which  thou,  compliant  with  my  father's  wish. 
Didst  promise  at  his  death,  thou  hast  seal'^d  tliine  own. 

DOGE.  ,^ 

Not  so :  there  was  that  in  my  spirit  ever 
Which  shaped  out  for  itself  some  great  reverse ; 
The  marvel  is,  it  came  not  until  now — 
And  yet  it  was  foretold  me. 

156  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  v. 


How  foretold  you  ? 


Long  years  ago — so  long,  they  are  a  doubt 

In  memory,  and  yet  they  live  in  annals : 

When  I  was  in  my  youth,  and  served  the  senate 

And  signory  as  podesta  and  captain 

Of  the  town  of  Treviso,  on  a  day 

Of  festival,  the  sluggish  bishop  who 

Conveyed  the  Host  aroused  my  rash  young  anger, 

By  strange  delay,  and  arrogant  reply 

To  my  reproof;  I  raised  my  hand  and  smote  him. 

Until  he  reePd  beneath  his  holy  burthen ; 

And  as  he  rose  from  earth  again,  he  raised 

His  tremulous  hands  in  pious  wrath  towards  Heaven. 

Thence  pointing  to  the  Host,  which  had  fallen  from  him, 

He  turn'd  to  me,  and  said,  "  The  hour  will  come 

"  When  he  thou  hast  overthrown  shall  overthrow  thee : 

"  The  glory  shall  depart  from  out  thy  house, 

"  The  wisdom  shall  be  shaken  from  thy  soul, 

"  And  in  thy  best  maturity  of  mind 

"  A  madness  of  the  heart  shall  seize  upon  thee ; 

"  Passion  shall  tear  thee  when  all  passions  cease 

"  In  other  men,  or  mellow  into  virtues ; 

"  And  majesty,  which  decks  all  other  heads, 

"  Shall  crown  to  leave  thee  headless ;  honours  shall 

"  But  prove  to  thee  the  heralds  of  destruction, 

"  And  hoary  hairs  of  shame,  and  both  of  death, 

SC.  11.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  157 

"  But  not  such  death  as  fits  an  aged  man.'^ 
Thus  saying,  he  pass''d  on. — That  hour  is  come. 


And  with  this  warning  couldst  thou  not  have  striven 

To  avert  the  fatal  moment,  and  atone 

By  penitence  for  that  which  thou  hadst  done  ? 


I  own  the  words  went  to  my  heart,  so  much 

That  I  remembered  them  amid  the  maze 

Of  hfe,  as  if  they  form'd  a  spectral  voice. 

Which  shook  me  in  a  supernatural  dream ; 

And  I  repented ;  but  'twas  not  for  me 

To  pull  in  resolution :  what  must  be 

I  could  not  change,  and  would  not  fear. — Nay  more. 

Thou  canst  not  have  forgot,  what  all  remember, 

That  on  my  day  of  landing  here  as  Doge, 

On  my  return  from  Rome,  a  mist  of  such 

Unwonted  density  went  on  before 

The  bucentaur  like  the  columnar  cloud 

Which  usher'd  Israel  out  of  Egypt,  till 

The  pilot  was  misled,  and  disembarked  us 

Between  the  Pillars  of  Saint  Mark's,  where  'tis- 

The  custom  of  the  state  to  put  to  death 

Its  criminals,  instead  of  touching  at 

The  Riva  della  Paglia,  as  the  wont  is, — 

So  that  all  Venice  shuddered  at  the  omen. 


Ah  !  Uttle  boots  it  now  to  recollect 
Such  things. 

158       ^  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  v. 


And  yet  I  find  a  comfort  in 
The  thought  that  these  things  are  the  work  of  Fate ; 
For  I  would  rather  yield  to  gods  than  men, 
Or  cling  to  any  creed  of  destiny, 
Rather  than  deem  these  mortals,  most  of  whom 
I  know  to  be  as  worthless  as  the  dust. 
And  weak  as  worthless,  more  than  instruments 
Of  an  o'er-ruling  power ;  they  ill  themselves 
Were  all  incapable — they  could  not  be 
Victors  of  him  who  oft  had  conquer^  for  them  ! 


Employ  the  minutes  left  in  aspirations 

Of  a  more  healing  nature,  and  in  peace 

Even  with  these  wretches  take  thy  flight  to  Heaven. 


I  am  at  peace :  the  peace  of  certainty 

That  a  sure  hour  will  come,  when  their  sons'*  sons. 

And  this  proud  city,  and  these  azure  waters. 

And  all  which  m^kes  them  eminent  and  bright. 

Shall  be  a  desolation,  and  a  curse, 

A  hissing  and  a  scoff  unto  the  nations, 

A  Carthage,  and  a  Tyre,  an  Ocean-Babel ! 


Speak  not  thus  now ;  the  surge  of  passion  still 
Sweeps  o'er  thee  to  the  last ;  thou  dost  deceive 
Thyself,  and  canst  not  injure  them — be  calmer. 


I  stand  within  eternity,  and  see 

sc.  II.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  159 

Into  eternity,  and  I  behold — 

Ay,  palpable  as  I  see  thy  sweet  face 

For  the  last  time — the  days  which  I  denounce 

Unto  all  time  against  these  wave-girt  walls, 

And  they  who  are  indwellers. 

GUARD  (coming Jbrward). 

Doge  of  Venice, 
The  Ten  are  in  attendance  on  your  highness. 


Then  farewell,  Angiolina ! — one  embrace — 

Forgive  the  old  man  who  hath  been  to  thee 

A  fond  but  fatal  husband — love  my  memory — 

I  would  not  ask  so  much  for  me  still  hving. 

But  thou  canst  judge  of  me  more  kindly  now. 

Seeing  my  evil  feelings  are  at  rest. 

Besides,  of  all  the  fruit  of  these  long  years. 

Glory,  and  wealth,  and  power,  and  fame,  and  name. 

Which  generally  leave  some  flowers  to  bloom 

Even  o'er  the  grave,  I  have  nothing  left,  not  even 

A  little  love,  or  friendship,  or  esteem. 

No,  not  enough  to  extract  an  epitaph 

From  ostentatious  kinsmen ;  in  one  hour 

I  have  uprooted  all  my  former  life, 

And  outlived  every  thing,  except  thy  heart. 

The  pure,  the  good,  the  gentle,  which  will  oft 

With  unimpaired  but  not  a  clamorous  grief 

Still  keep Thou  tum'st  so  pale — Alas  !  she  faints. 

She  has  no  breath,  no  pulse ! — Guards  !  lend  your  aid — 
I  cannot  leave  her  thus,  and  yet  "'tis  better. 


Since  every  lifeless  moment  spares  a  pang. 
When  she  shakes  off  this  temporary  death, 
I  shall  be  with  the  Eternal. — Call  her  women — 
One  look  ! — how  cold  her  hand  !  as  cold  as  mine 
Shall  be  ere  she  recovers. — Gently  tend  her, 

And  take  my  last  thanks. 1  am  ready  now. 

[The  Attendants  of  A^gioi^i^ a  enter  and  surround 

their  mistress,  who  has  fainted, — Exeunt  the 

Doge,  Guards,  <Sfc.  Sfc. 


The  Court  of  the  Ducal  Palace:  the  outer  gates  are  shut 
against  the  people. — The  Doge  enters  in  his  ducal 
robes,  in  procession  with  the  Council  of  Ten  and  other 
Patricians,  attended  by  the  Guards  till  they  arrive  at 
the  top  of  the  *' Giant* s  Staircase,''''  {where  the  Doges 
took  the  oaths) ;  the  Executioner  is  stationed  there  with 
his  sword. — On  arriving,  a  Chief  of  the  Ten  takes  off 
the  ducal  cap  from  the  Doge's  head,  » 


So  now  the  Doge  is  nothing,  and  at  last 

I  am  again  Marino  Faliero : 

'Tis  well  to  be  so,  though  but  for  a  moment. 

sc.  III.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  161 

Here  was  I  crown''d,  and  here,  bear  witness,  Heaven  ! 
With  how  much  more  contentment  1  resign 
That  shining  mockery,  the  ducal  bauble. 
Than  I  received  the  fatal  ornament. 

ONE    OF    THE    TEN. 

Thou  tremblesf,  Faliero  f 


'Tis  with  age,  then  (9). 


Faliero !  hast  thou  aught  further  to  commend, 
Compatible  with  justice,  to  the  senate  ? 


I  would  commend  my  nephew  to  their  mercy. 
My  consort  to  their  justice ;  for  methinks 
My  death,  and  such  a  death,  might  settle  all 
Between  the  state  and  me. 


They  shall  be  cared  for ; 
Even  notwithstanding  thine  unheard-of  crime. 


Unheard-of !  ay,  there 's  not  a  history 
But  shows  a  thousand  crown''d  conspirators 
Against  the  people ;  but  to  set  them  free 
One  sovereign  only  died,  and  one  is  dying. 


And  who  were  they  who  fell  in  such  a  cause  ? 


The  King  of  Sparta,  and  the  Doge  of  Venice — 
Agis  and  Faliero ! 

162  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  v. 


Hast  thou  more 
To  utter  or  to  do  ? 

»  DOGE. 

May  I  speak  ? 


Thou  may'*st ; 
But  recollect  the  people  are  without, 
Beyond  the  compass  of  the  human  voice. 


I  speak  to  Time  and  to  Eternity, 

Of  which  I  grow  a  portion,  not  to  man. 

Ye  elements  !  in  which  to  be  resolved 

I  hasten,  let  my  voice  be  as  a  spirit 

Upon  you !  Ye  blue  waves !  which  bore  my  banner. 

Ye  winds  !  which  fluttered  o"'er  as  if  you  loved  it. 

And  filled  my  swelling  sails  as  they  were  wafted 

To  many  a  triumph  !  Thou,  my  native  eardi, 

Which  I  have  bled  for,  and  thou  foreign  earth. 

Which  drank  this  willing  blood  from  many  a  wound ! 

Ye  stones,  in  which  my  gore  will  not  sink,  but 

Reek  up  to  Heaven  !  Ye  skies,  which  will  receive  it ! 

Thou  sun  !  which  shinest  on  these  things,  and  Thou  ! 

Who  kindlest  and  who  quenchest  suns  ! — Attest ! 

I  am  not  innocent — ^but  are  these  guiltless  ? 

I  perish,  but  not  unavenged ;  far  ages 

Float  up  from  the  abyss  of  time  to  be. 

And  show  these  eyes,  before  they  close,  the  doom 

Of  this  proud  city,  and  I  leave  my  curse 

sc.  nr.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  16S 

On  her  and  hers  for  ever ! Yes,  the  hours 

Are  silently  engendering  of  the  day, 

When  she,  who  built  'gainst  Attila  a  bulwark, 

Shall  yield,  and  bloodlessly  and  basely  yield 

Unto  a  bastard  Attila,  without 

Shedding  so  much  blood  in  her  last  defence 

As  these  old  veins,  oft  drain'd  in  shielding  her. 

Shall  pour  in  sacrifice. — She  shall  be  bought 

And  sold,  and  be  an  appanage  to  those 

Who  shall  despise  her  ! — She  shall  stoop  to  be 

A  province  for  an  empire,  petty  town 

In  lieu  of  capital,  with  slaves  for  senates. 

Beggars  for  nobles,  pandars  for  a  people  (lo) .' 

Then  when  the  Hebrew's  in  thy  palaces(n), 

The  Hun  in  thy  high  places,  and  the  Greek 

Walks  o'er  thy  mart,  and  smiles  on  it  for  his  ! 

When  thy  patricians  beg  their  bitter  bread 

In  narrow  streets,  and  in  their  shameful  need 

Make  their  nobility  a  plea  for  pity  ! 

Then,  when  the  few  who  still  retain  a  wreck 

Of  their  great  fathers'  heritage  shall  fawn 

Round  a  barbarian  Vice  of  Kings'  Vice-gerent, 

Even  in  the  palace  where  they  sway'd  as  sovereigns, 

Even  in  the  palace  where  they  slew  their  sovereign. 

Proud  of  some  name  they  have  disgraced,  or  sprung 

From  an  adulteress  boastful  of  her  guilt 

With  some  large  gondolier  or  foreign  soldier. 

Shall  bear  about  their  bastardy  in  triumph 

To  the  third  spurious  generation ; — when 



Thy  sons  are  in  the  lowest  scale  of  being, 

Slaves  turn'd  o'er  to  the  vanquished  by  the  victors, 

Despised  by  cowards  for  greater  cowardice, 

And  scorn'd  even  by  the  vicious  for  such  vices 

As  in  the  monstrous  grasp  of  their  conception 

Defy  all  codes  to  image  or  to  name  them ; 

Then,  when  of  Cyprus,  now  thy  subject  kingdom, 

All  thine  inheritance  shall  be  her  shame 

Entaird  on  thy  less  virtuous  daughters,  grown 

A  wider  proverb  for  worse  prostitution ; — 

When  all  the  ills  of  conquer''d  states  shall  cling  thee, 

Vice  without  splendour,  sin  without  relief 

Even  from  the  gloss  of  love  to  smooth  it  o'^er. 

But  in  its  stead  coarse  lusts  of  habitude. 

Prurient  yet  passionless,  cold  studied  lewdness. 

Depraving  nature'*s  frailty  to  an  art ; — 

When  these  and  more  are  heavy  on  thee,  when 

Smiles  without  mirth,  and  pastimes  without  pleasure, 

Youth  without  honour,  age  without  respect. 

Meanness  and  weakness,  and  a  sense  of  woe 

'Gainst  which  thou  wilt  not  strive,  and  dar'st  not  murmur. 

Have  made  thee  last  and  worst  of  peopled  deserts. 

Then,  in  the  last  gasp  of  thine  agony, 

Amidst  thy  many  murders,  think  of  mine  ! 

Thou  den  of  drunkards  with  the  blood  of  princes  (12) » 

Gehenna  of  the  waters !  thou  sea  Sodom  ! 

Thus  I  devote  thee  to  the  infernal  gods ! 

Thee  and  thy  serpent  seed ! 

[Here  the  Doge  turnSy  and  addresses  the  Executimier, 

sc.  IV.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  165 

Slave,  do  thine  office ! 
Strike  as  I  struck  the  foe !  Strike  as  I  would 
Have  struck  those  tyrants  !  Strike  deep  as  my  curse  ' 
Strike — and  but  once ! 

[The  Doge  throws  himself  upon  his  knees,  and  as  the 
Executioner  raises  his  sword  the  scene  closes. 


The  Piazza  and  Piazzetta  of  Saint  Marias, — Tlie  People 
in  crozcds  gathered  rouTid  the  grated  gates  qftlie  Ducal 
Palace,  which  are  shut. 


I  have  gain'd  the  gate,  and  can  discern  the  Ten, 
Robed  in  their  gowns  of  state,  ranged  round  the  Doge. 

second    CITIZEN. 

I  cannot  reach  thee  with  mine  utmost  effort. 
How  is  it  ?  let  us  hear  at  least,  since  sight 
Is  thus  prohibited  unto  the  people. 
Except  the  occupiers  of  those  bars. 


One  has  approached  the  Doge,  and  now  they  strip 
The  ducal  bonnet  from  his  head — and  now 

166  MARINO  FALIERO,  act  v. 

He  raises  his  keen  eyes  to  Heaven ;  I  see 

Them  glitter,  and  his  lips  move — Hush !  hush  ! — no, 

'Twas  but  a  murmur — Curse  upon  the  distance  ! 

His  words  are  inarticulate,  but  the  voice 

Swells  up  hke  mutter'd  thunder ;  would  we  could 

But  gather  a  sole  sehtence  ! 


Hush  !  we  perhaps  may  catch  the  sound. 


'Tis  vain, 
I  cannot  hear  him. — How  his  hoary  hair 
Streams  on  the  mnd  like  foam  upon  the  wave ! 
Now — ^now — ^he  kneels — and  now  they  form  a  circle 
Round  him,  and  all  is  hidden — ^but  I  see 

The  lifted  sword  in  air Ah  !  Hark  !  it  falls  ! 

[  The  People  murmur. 


Then  they  have  murder'd  him  who  would  have  freed  us. 


He  was  a  kind  man  to  the  commons  ever. 


Wisely  they  did  to  keep  their  portals  barr**d. 
Would  we  had  known  the  work  they  were  preparing 
Ere  we  were  summoned  here,  we  would  have  brought 
Weapons,  and  forced  them  ! 


Are  you  sure  he 's  dead  ? 


I  saw  the  sword  fall — Lo !  what  have  we  here  ? 

sc.  IV.  DOGE  OF  VENICE.  167 

Enter  on  the  Bakwiy  of  the  Palace  which  fronts  Saint 
Mark^s  Place^  a  Chief  of  the  Ten  (is),  with  a  bloody 
sword  He  waves  it  thrice  before  the  People^  and  ex^ 

"  Justice  hath  dealt  upon  the  mighty  Traitor  I'' 

[  The  gates  are  opened ;  the  populace  rush  in  towards 
the  "  Gianfs  Staircase,^''  where  the  execution  has 
taken  place.  The  Jbremost  of  them  exclaims  to 
tJiose  behind, 

The  gory  head  rolls  down  the  "  Giant's  Steps !'' 

[  The  curtain  Jails, 


Note  1,  page  21,  line  15. 
/  smote  the  tardy  bishop  at  Treviso. 
An  historical  fact.     See  Marin  Sanuto's  Lives  of  the 

Note  2,  page  34,  line  23. 
j4  gondola  with  one  oar  only. 
A  gondola  is  not  like  a  common  boat,  but  is  as  easily 
rowed  with  one  oar  as  with  two  (though  of  course  not  so 
swiftly),  and  often  is  so  from  motives  of  privacy ;  and  (since 
the  decay  of  Venice)  of  economy. 

Note  3,  page  74,  lines  12  and  13. 

They  think  themselves 
Engaged  in  secret  to  the  Signory. 
An  historical  fact. 

Note  4,  page  113,  line  10. 
Within  our  palace  precincts  at  San  Polo. 
The  Doge's  private  family  palace. 

170  NOTES. 

Note  5,  page  121,  line  10. 
«  Signor  of  the  Night:' 
"  I  Signori  di  Notte  "  held  an  important  charge  in  the 
old  Republic. 

Note  6,  page  133,  line  15. 
Festal  Thursday, 
"  Giovedi  Grasso,'  ''fat  or  greasy  Thursday,"  which  I 
cannot  literally  translate  in  the  text,  was  the  day. 

Note  7,  page  133,  line  29. 
Guards  !  let  their  mouths  be  gagg*d,  even  in  the  act. 
Historical  fact.     See  Sanuto,  in  the  Appendix  to  this 

Note  8,  page  143,  line  6. 
Say,  conscript  fathers  f  shall  she  be  admitted? 
The  Venetian  senate  took  the  same  title  as  the  Roman^ 
of  "  Conscript  Fathers." 

Note  9,  page  161,  line  8. 
'  Tis  with  agCf  then. 
This  was  the  actual  reply  of  Bailli,  maire  of  Paris,  to  a 
Frenchman  who  made  him  the  same  reproach  on  his  way 
to  execution,  in  the  earliest  part  of  their  revolution.  I 
find  in  reading  over  (since  the  completion  of  this  tragedy), 
for  the  first  time  these  six  years,  "  Venice  Preserved,"  a 
similar  reply  on  a  different  occasion  by  Renault,  and  other 
coincidences  arising  from  the  subject.  I  need  hardly  re- 
mind the  gentlest  reader,  that  such  coincidences  must  be 
accidental,  from  the  very  facility  of  their  detection  by 
reference  to  so  popular  a  play  on  the  stage  and  in  the 
closet  as  Otway's  chef  d'ceuvre. 

xXOTEs.  ni 

Note  10,  page  163,  line  13. 
Beggars  Jbr  nobles,  pandarsjbr  a  people  ! 
Should  the  dramatic  picture  seem  harsh,  let  the  reader 
look  to  the  historical,  of  the  period  prophesied,  or  rather 
of  the  few  years  preceding  that  period.  Voltaire  calcu- 
lated their  "nostre  bene  merite  Meretrici '*  at  12,000  of 
regulars,  without  including  volunteers  and  local  militia,  on 
what  authority  I  know  not ;  but  it  is  perhaps  the  only  part 
of  the  population  not  decreased.  Venice  once  contained 
200,000  inhabitants,  there  are  now  about  90,000,  and 
THESE ! !  few  individuals  can  conceive,  and  none  could 
describe  the  actual  state  into  which  the  more  than  infernal 
tyranny  of  Austria  has  plunged  this  unhappy  city. 

Note  11,  page  163,  line  14. 
Then  token  the  Hebrew  's  in  thy  palaces. 
The  chief  palaces  on  the  Brenta  now  belong  to  the 
Jews ;  who  in  the  earlier  times  of  the  republic  were  only 
allowed  to  inhabit  Mestri,  and  not  to  enter  the  city  of 
Venice.  The  whole  commerce  is  in  the  hands  of  the 
Jews  and  Greeks,  and  the  Huns  form  the  garrison. 

Note  12,  page  164,  line  25. 
Thou  den  of  drunkards  tvith  the  blood  of  princes! 
Of  the  first  fifty  Doges,  ^ve  abdicated— ^/^ve  were  ba- 
nished with  their  eyes  put  out-^ue  were  massacred — 
and  nine  deposed ;  so  that  nineteen  out  of  fifty  lost  the 
throne  by  violence,  besides  two  who  fell  in  battle :  this 
occurred  long  previous  to  the  reign  of  Marino  Faliero. 
One  of  his  more  immediate  predecessors,  Andrea  Dan- 
dolo,  died  of  vexation.     Marino  Faliero  himself  perished 

172  NOTES. 

as  related.  Amongst  his  successors,  Foscari,  after  seeing 
his  son  repeatedly  tortured  and  banished,  was  deposed, 
and  died  of  breaking  a  blood-vessel,  on  hearing  the  bell 
of  Saint  Mark's  toll  for  the  election  of  his  successor. 
Morosini  was  impeached  for  the  loss  of  Candia ;  but  this 
was  previous  to  his  dukedom,  during  which  he  conquered 
the  Morea,  and  was  styled  the  Peloponnesian.  Faliero 
might  truly  say, 
**  Thou  den  of  drunkards  with  the  blood  of  princes !" 

Note  13,  page  167,  line  SJ. 
Chief  of  the  Ten. 
<*  Un  Capo  de  Dieci"  are  the  words  of  Sanuto's  Chronicle. 




"  Fu  eletto  da'  quarantuno  Elettori,  il  quale  era  Cavaliere  e 
conte  di  Valdemarino  in  Trivigiana,  ed  era  ricco,  e  si  trovava 
Ambasciadore  a  Roma.  E  a  di  9.  di  Settembre,  dopo  sepolto 
il  suo  predecessore,  fu  chiamato  il  gran  Consiglio,  e  fu  preso 
di  fare  il  Doge  giusta  il  solito.  E  furono  fatti  i  cinque  Cor- 
rettori,  Ser  Bernardo  Giustiniani  Procuratore,  Ser  Paolo  Lo- 
redano,  Ser  Filippo  Aurio,  Ser  Pietro  Trivisano,  e  Ser  Tom- 
maso  Viadro.  I  quali  a  di  10.  misero  queste  correzioni  alia 
promessione  del  Doge :  che  i  Consiglieri  non  odano  gli  Ora- 
tori  e  Nunzi  de'  Signori,  senza  i  Capi  de'  quaranta,  nh 
possano  rispondere  ad  alcuno,  se  non  saranno  quattro  Con- 
siglieri e  due  Capi  de'  Quaranta.  E  che  osservino  la  forma 
del  suo  Capitolare.  E  che  Messer  lo  Doge  si  metta  nella 
miglior  parte,  quando  i  Giudici  tra  loro  non  fossero  d'accordo. 
£  eh'  egli  non  possa  far  vendere  i  suoi  imprestiti,  salvo  con 
legitima  causa,  e  col  voler  di  cinque  Consiglieri^  di  due  Capi 
de'  Quaranta,  e  delle  due  parti  del  Consiglio  de'  Pregati. 
Iteniy  che  in  luogo  di  ire  mila  pelli  di  Conigli,  che  debbon 
dare  i  Zaratini  per  regalia  al  Doge,  non  trovandosi  tante 
pelli,  gli  diano  Ducati  ottanta  I'anno.  E  poi  a  di  11.  detto, 
misero  etiam  altre  correzioni,  che  se  il  Doge,  che  sara  eletto, 
fusse  fuori  di  Venezia,  i  Savj  possono  provvedere  del  suo 
ritorno.  E  quando  fosse  il  Doge  ammalato,  sia  Vicedoge 
uno  de'  Consigliere,  da  esserc  eletto  tra  loro.    E  che  il  detto 


sia  nominato  Viceluogotenente  di  Messer  lo  Doge,  quando 
i  Giudici  faranno  i  suoi  atti.  E  nota,  perche  fu'fatto  Doge 
uno,  ch'era  assente,  che  fu  Vicedoge  Ser  Marino  Badoero 
piu  vecchio  de'  Consiglieri.  Item,  che'l  governo  del  Ducato 
sia  commesso  a'  Consiglieri,  e  a'  Capi  de'  Quaranta,  quando 
vachera  il  Ducato,  finchd  sara  eletto  1'  altro  Doge.  E  cosi 
a  di  11 .  di  Settembre  fu  creato  il  prefato  Marino  Faliero 
Doge.  E  fu  preso,  che  il  governo  del  Ducato  sia  commesso 
a'  Consiglieri  e  a'  Capi  di  Quaranta.  I  quali  stiano  in  Pa- 
lazzo di  continuo,  fino  che  verra  il  Doge.  Sicche  di  continuo 
stiano  in  Palazzo  due  Consiglieri  e  un  Capo  de'  Quaranta. 
E  subito  furono  spedite  lettere  al  detto  Doge,  il  quale  era  a 
Roma  Oratore  al  Legato  di  Papa  Innocenzo  VI.  ch'era  in 
Avignone.  Fu  preso  nel  gran  Consiglio  d'eleggere  dodici 
Ambasciadori  incontro  a  Marino  Faliero  Doge  il  quale  veniva 
da  Roma.  E  giunto  a  Chioggia,  il  Podesta  mand6  Taddeo 
Giustiniani  suo  figliuolo  incontro,  con  quindici  Ganzaruoli. 
E  poi  venuto  a  S.  Clemente  nel  Bucintoro,  venne  un  gran 
caligo,  adeo  che  il  Bucintoro  non  si  pote  levare.  Laonde  il 
Doge  CO'  Gentiluomini  nelle  piatte  vennero  di  lungo  in  questa 
Terra  a'  5.  d'Ottobre  del  1354.  E  dovendo  smontare  alia 
riva  della  Paglia  per  lo  caligo  andarono  ad  ismontare  alia 
riva  della  Piazza  in  mezzo  alle  due  Colonne  dove  si  fa  la 
Giustizia,  che  fu  un  malissimo  augurio.  E  a'  6.  la  mattina 
venne  alia  Chiesa  di  San  Marco  alia  Jaudazione  di  quello. 
Era  in  questo  tempo  Cancellier  Grande  Messer  Benintende. 
I  quarantuno  Elettori  furono,  Ser  Giovanni  Contarini,  Ser 
Andrea  Giustiniani,  Ser  Michele  Morosini,  Ser  Simone  Dan- 
dolo,  Ser  Pietro  Lando,  Ser  Marino  Gradenigo,  Ser  Marco 
Dolfino,  Ser  Nicolo  Faliero,  Ser  Giovanni  Quirini,  Ser  Lo- 
renzo Soranzo,  Ser  Marco  Bembo,  Sere  Stefano  Belegno, 
Ser  Francesco  Loredano,  Ser  Marino  Veniero,  Ser  Giovanni 
Mocenigo,  Ser  Andrea  Barbaro,  Ser  Lorenzo  Barbarigo,  Ser 
Bettino  da  Molino,  Ser'  Andrea  Erizzo  Procuratore,  Ser 
^larco  Celsi,  Ser  Paolo  Donato,  Ser  Bertucci  Grimani,  Ser 
Pietro  Steno,  Ser  Luca  Duodo,  Ser'  Andrea  Pisani,  Ser 

DOGE  OF  VENICE.    •  177 

Francesco  Caravello,  Ser  Jacopo  Trivisano,  Sere  Schiavo 
Marcello,  Ser  MafFeo  Aimo,  Ser  Marco  Capello,  Ser  Pan- 
crazio  Giorgio,  Ser  Giovanni  Foscarini,  Ser  Tommaso  Viadro, 
Sere  Schiava  Polani,  Ser  Marco  Polo,  Ser  Marino  Sagredo, 
Sere  Stefano  Mariani,  Ser  Francesco  Suriano,  Ser  Orio  Pas- 
qualigo,  Ser'  Andrea  Gritti,  Ser  Buono  da  Mosto. 
*         *         *        * 

'*  Trattato  di  Messer  Marino  Faliero  Doge,  tratto  da  una 
Cronica  antica.  Essendo  venuto  11  Giovedi  della  Caccia,  fu 
fatta  giusta  il  solito  la  Caccia.  E  a'  que'  tempi  dopo  fatta 
la  Caccia  s'  andava  in  Palazzo  del  Doge  in  una  di  quelle 
Sale,  e  con  donne  facevasi  una  festicciuola,  dove  si  ballava 
fino  alia  prima  Campana,  e  veniva  una  Colazione ;  la  quale 
spesa  faceva  Messer  lo  Doge,  quando  v'  era  la  Dogaressa. 
E  poscia  tutti  andavano  a  casa  sua.  Sopra  la  qual  festa, 
pare,  che  Ser  Michele  Steno,  molto  giovane  e  povero  Gen- 
tiluomo,  ma  ardito  e  astuto,  il  qual'  era  innamorato  in  certa 
donzella  della  Dogaressa,  essendo  sul  Solajo  appresso  le 
Donne,  facesse  cert'  atto  non  conveniente,  adeo  che  il  Doge 
comando  ch'e'  fosse  buttato  giu  dal  Solajo.  E  cosi  quegli 
Scudieri  del  Doge  lo  spinsero  giu  di  quel  Solajo.  Laonde  a 
Ser  Michele  parve,  che  fossegli  stata  fatta  troppo  grande 
ignominia.  E  non  considerando  altramente  il  fine,  ma  sopra 
quella  passione  fornita  la  Festa,  e  andati  tutti  via,  quella 
notte  egli  ando,  e  sulla  cadrega,  dove  sedeva  il  Doge  nella 
Sala  deir  Udienza  (perche  allora  i  Dogi  non  tenevano  panno 
di  seta  sopra  la  cadrega,  ma  sedevano  in  una  cadrega  di 
legno)  scrisse  alcune  parole  disoneste  del  Doge  e  della  Do- 
garessa, cioe:  Marin  Faliero  daUa  bella  moglie :  Altri  la 
gode,  ed  egli  la  mantien.  E  la  mattina  furono  vedute  tali 
parole  scritte.  E  parve  una  brutta  cosa.  E  per  la  Signoria 
fu  commessa  la  cosa  agli  Avvogadori  del  Comune  con  grande 
efficacia.  I  qual  Avvogadori  subito  diedero  taglia  grande 
per  venire  in  chiaro  della  verita  di  chi  avea  scritto  tal  lettera. 
E  tandem  si  seppe,  che  Michele  Steno  aveale  scritte.    E  fu 



per  la  Quarantia  preso  di  ritenerlo ;  e  ritenuto  confesso,  die 
in  quella  passione  d'  essere  stato  spinto  giu  dal  Solajo,  pre- 
sente  la  sua  amante^  egli  aveale  scritte.  Onde  poi  fu  pla- 
citato  nel  detto  Consiglio,  e  parve  al  Consiglio  si  per  rispetto 
air  eta,  come  per  la  caldezza  d'amore,  di  condannarlo  a 
compiere  due  mesi  in  prigione  serrato,  e  poi  oh'  e'  fusse  ban- 
dito  di  Venezia  e  dal  distretto  per  un  anno.  Per  la  qual 
condennagione  tanto  piccola  il  Doge  ne  prese  grande  sdegno, 
parendogli  che  non  fosse  stata  fatta  quella  estimazione  della 
cosa,  che  ricercava  la  sua  dignita  del  Ducato.  E  diceva,  ch' 
eglino  doveano  averlo  fatto  appiccare  per  la  gola,  o  saltern 
bandirlo  in  perpetuo  da  Venezia.  E  perch^  (quando  dee 
succedere  un'  effetto  e  necessario  che  vi  concorra  la  ca- 
gione  a  fare  tal'  effetto)  era  destinato,  che  a  Messer  Marino 
Doge  fosse  tagliata  la  testa,  perci6  occorse,  che  entrata  la 
Quaresima  il  giorno  dopo  che  fu  condannato  il  detto  Ser 
Michele  Steno,  un  Gentiluomo  da  Ca  Barbaro,  di  natura 
colerico,  andasse  all'  Arsenale,  domandasse  certe  cose  ai 
Padroni,  ed  era  alia  presenza  de'  Signori  I'Amiraglio  dell' 
Arsenale.  II  quale  intesa  la  domanda,  disse,  che  non  si  poteva 
fare.  Quel  Gentiluomo  venne  a  parole  coll'  Amiraglio,  e 
diedegli  un  pugno  su  un'occhio.  E  perche  avea  un'anello 
in  deto,  coll'  anello  gli  ruppe  la  pelle,  e  fece  sangue.  E 
TAmiragHo  cosi  battuto  e  insanguinato  ando  al  Doge  a  la- 
mentarsi,  acciocche  il  Doge  facesse  fare  gran  punizione 
contra  il  detto  da  Ca  Barbar5.  II  Dpge  disse :  Che  vuoi  che  ti 

Jacciaf  Guarda  le  ignommiose  parole  scritte  di  me,e  il  modo 
cK^  stato  punito  quel  ribaldo  di  Michele  Steno,  che  le  scrisse. 
E  quale  stima  hanno  i  Quaranta  Jatto  della  persona  nostra. 
Laonde  I'Amiraglio  gli  disse :  Messer  lo  Doge,  se  voi  volet e 

faroi  Signore,  e  fare  tagliare  tutti  questi  becchi  Gentiluomini 
a  pezzif  mi  hasta  Vanimo,  dandomi  voi  ajuto,  di  farvi  Signore 
di  questa  Terra.  E  allora  voi  pntrete  casligare  tutti  costoro. 
Intese  queste,  il  Doge  disse,  Come  si  puojare  una  simile 
cosa  ?  E  cosi  entrarono  in  ragionamento. 


"  II  Doge  mando  a  chiamare  Ser  Bertucci  Faliero  suo  ni- 
pote,  il  quale  stava  con  lui  in  Palazzo,  &  entrarono  in  questa 
niachinazione.  Ne  si  partirono  di  li,  che  maudarono  per 
Filippo  Calendar©,  uomo  maritirao  e  di  gran  seguito,  e  per 
Bertucci  Israello,  ingegnere  e  uomo  astutissimo.  E  consi- 
gliatisi  insieme  diede  ordine  di  chiamare  alcuni  altri.  E  cosi 
per  alcuni  giorni  la  notte  si  riducevano  insieme  in  Palazzo  in 
casa  del  Doge.  E  chiamarono  a  parte  a  parte  altri,  videlicet 
Niccol6Fagiuolo,Giovanni  da  Corfu,  StefanoFagiano,Niccold 
dalle  Bende,  Niccolo  Biondo,  e  Stefano  Trivisano.  E  ordino 
di  faresedici  o  diciasette  Capi  in  diversi  luoghi  della  Terra,  i 
quali  avessero  cadaun  di  loro  quaranf  uomini  provvigionati 
preparati,  non  dicendo  a'  detti  suoi  quaranta  quello,  che  vo- 
lessero  fare.  Ma  che  il  giorno  stabilito  si  mostrasse  di  far  quis- 
tione  tra  loro  in  diversi  luoghi,  accioche  il  Doge  facesse  sonare 
a  San  Marco  le  Campane,  le  quali  non  si  possono  suonare,  s' 
€gh  nol  comanda.  E  al  suono  delle  Campane  questi  sedici  o 
diciasette  co'  suoi  uomini  venissero  a  San  Marco  alle  strade, 
che  buttano  in  Piazza.  E  cosi  i  nobili  e  primarj  Cittadini, 
che  venissero  in  Piazza,  per  sapere  del  romore  cid  ch'era, 
li  tagliassero  a  pezzi.  E  seguito  questo,  che  fosse  chiamato 
per  Signore  Messer  Marino  Faliero  Doge.  E  fermate  le  cose 
tra  loro,  stabilito  fu,  che  questo  dovess'  essere  a'  15.  d'Aprile 
del  1355.  in  giorno  di  Mercoledi.  La  quale  machinazione 
trattata  fu  tra  loro  tanto  segretaraente,  che  mai  ne  pure  se 
ne  sospetto,  non  che  se  ne  sapesse  cos'  alcuna.  Ma  il  Signor' 
Iddio,  che  ha  sempre  ajutato  questa  gloriosissima  Citta,  e 
che  per  le  santimonie  e  giustizie  sue  mai  non  I'ha  abban- 
donata,  ispiro  a  un  Beltramo  Bergamasco,  il  quale  fu  messo 
Capo  di  quaranf  uomini  per  uno  de'  detti  congiurati  (il  quale 
intese  qualche  parola,  sicche  comprese  V  effetto,  che  doveva 
succedere,  e  il  qual  era  di  casa  di  Ser  Niccolo  Lioni  de 
Santo  Stefano)  di  andare  a  di  .  . .  .  .  d'Aprile  a  Casa  del 
detto  Ser  Niccolo  Lioni.  E  gli  disse  ogni  cosa  dell'  ordin 
dato.     II  quale  intese  le  cose,  rimase  come  morto ;  e  intese 

N  2 


molte  particolarita,  il  detto  Beltramo  il  prego  che  lo  tenesse 
segreto,  e  glielo  disse,  acciocche  il  detto  Ser  Niccolo  non 
si  partisse  di  casa  a  di  15.  accioche  egli  non  fosse  morto. 
Et  egli  volendo  partirsi,  il  fece  ritenere  a'  suoi  di  casa,  e 
serrarlo  in  una  camera.    Et  esso  ando  a  casa  di  M.  Giovanni 
Gradenigo  Nasone,  il  quale  fu  poi  Doge,  che  stava  anch' 
egli  a  Santo  Stefano ;  e  dissegli  la  cosa.     La  quale  paren- 
dogli,  com'era,  d'una  grandissima  importanza,  tutti  e  due 
andarono  a  casa  di  Ser  Marco  Cornaro,  che  stava  a  San  Fe- 
lice.    E  dettogli  il  tutto,  tutti  e  tre  deliberarono  di  venire  a 
casa  del  detto  Ser  Niccolo  Lioni,  ed  esaminare  il  detto  Bel- 
tramo.    E  quello  esaminato,  intese  le  cose,  il  fecero  stare 
serrato.    E  andarono  tutti  e  tre  a  San  Salvatore  in  Sacristia, 
e  mandarono  i  loro  famigli  a  chiamare  i  Consiglieri,  gli  Av- 
vogadori,  i  Capi  de'  Dieci,  e  que'  del  Consiglio.     E  ridotti 
insieme  dissero  loro  le  cose.     I  quali  rimasero  morti.   E  de- 
liberarono di  mandare  pel  detto  Beltramo,  e  fattolo  venire 
cautamente,  ed  esaminatolo,  e  verificate  le  cose,  ancorche  ne 
sentissero  gran  passlone,  pure  pensarono  la  provisione.     E 
mandarono  pe'  Capi  de'  Quaranta,  pe'  Signori  di  notte,  pe' 
Capi  de'  Sestieri,  e  pe'  Cinque  della  Pace.     E  ordinato,  ch' 
eglino  co'  loro  uomini  trovassero  degli  altri  buoni  uomini,  e 
mandassero  a  casa  de*  Capi  de'  congiurati,  ut  supra  met- 
tessero  loro  le  mani  addosso.     E  tolsero  i  detti  le  Maestrerie 
dell'  Arsenale,  acciocche  i  provvisionati  de'  congiurati  non 
potessero  ofFenderli.     E  si  ridussero  in  Palazzo  verso  la  sera. 
Dove  ridotti  fecero  serrare  le  porte  della  corte  del  Palazzo. 
E  mandarono  a  ordinare  al  Campanaro,  che  non  sonasse  le 
Campane.     E  cosi  fu  eseguito,  e  messe  le  mani  addosso  a 
tutti  i  nominati  di  ^opra,  furono  que'  condotti  al  Palazzo. 
E  vedendo  il  Consiglio  de'  Dieci,  che   il  Doge  era  nella 
cospirazione,  presero  di  eleggere  venti  de'   primarj   della 
Terra,  di  giunta  al  detto  Consiglio  a  consigliare,  non  pero 
che  potessero  mettere  pallotta. 

"  I  Consiglieri  furono  questi :  Ser  Giovanni  Mocenigo  del 


Sestiero  di  San  Marco;  Ser  Almorg  Veniero  da  Santa  Ma- 
rina del  Sestiero  di  Castello ;  Ser  Tomnmso  Viadro  del  Se- 
stiero di  Caneregio ;  Ser  Giovanni  Sanudo  del  Sestiero  di 
Santa  Croce;  Ser  Pietro  Trivisano  del  Sestiero  di  San  Paolo; 
Ser  Pantalione  Barbo  il  Grando  del  Sestiero  d'  Ossoduro. 
Gli  Avogadori  del  Comune  furono  Ser  Zufredo  Morosini,  e 
Ser  Orio  Pasqualigo,  e  questi  non  ballottarono.  Que'  del 
Consiglio  de'  Dieci;  furono  Ser  Giovanni  Marcello,  Ser 
Tommaso  Sanudo,  e  Ser  Michelento  Dolfino,  Capi  del  detto 
Consiglio  de'  Dieci ;  Ser  Luca  da  Legge,  e  Ser  Pietro  da 
Mosto,  Inquisitori  del  detto  Consiglio;  Ser  Marco  Polani, 
Ser  Marino  Veniero,  Ser  Lando  Lombardo,  Ser  Nicoletto 
Trivisano  da  Sant'  Angiolo.  Questi  elessero  tra  loro  una 
Giunta,  nella  notte  ridotti  quasi  sul  romper  del  giorno,  di 
venti  Nobili  di  Venezia  de'  migliori,  de'  piu  Savj,  e  de*  piu 
antichi,  per  consultare,  non  per6  che  mettessero  pallottola. 
E  non  vi  vollero  alcuno  da  Ca  Faliero.  E  cacciarono  fuori 
del  Consiglio  Niccolo  Faliero,  e  un'  altro  Niccollo  Faliero  da 
San  Tommaso,  per  essere  della  Casata  del  Doge.  E  questa 
provigione  di  chiamare  i  venti  della  Giunta  fu  molto  com- 
mendata  per  tutta  la  Terra.  Questi  furono  i  venti  della  Giunta, 
Ser  Marco  Giustiniani  Procuratore,  Ser'  Andrea  Erizzo 
Procuratore,  Ser  Lionardo  Giustiniani  Procuratore,  Ser* 
Andrea  Contarini,  Ser  Simone  Dandolo,  Ser  Niccolo  Volpe, 
Ser  Giovanni  Loredano,  Ser  Marco  Diedo,  Ser  Giovanni 
Gradenigo,  Ser'  Andrea  Cornaro  Cavaliere,  Ser  Marco 
Soranzo,  Ser  Rinieri  da  Mosto,  Ser  Gazano  Marcello,  Ser 
Marino  Morosiilo,  Sere  Stefano  Belegno,  Ser  Niccolo  Lioni, 
Ser  Filippo  Orio,  Ser  Marco  Trivisano,  Ser  Jacopo  Bra- 
gadino,  Ser  Giovanni  Foscarini.  E  chiamati  questi  venti  nel 
Consiglio  de'  Dieci,  fu  mandato  per  Messer  Marino  Faliero 
Doge,  il  quale  andava  pel  Palazzo  con  gran  gente,  gen- 
tiluomini,  e  altra  buona  gente,  che  non  sapeano  ancora  come 
il  fatto  stava.  In  questo  tempo  fu  condotto,  preso,  e  ligato, 
Bertucci  Israello,  uno  de'  Capi  del  trattato  per  que'  di  Santa 


Croce,  e  ancora  fu  preso  Zanello  del  Brin,  Nicoletto  di  Rosa, 
e  Nicoletto  Alberto,  il  Guardiaga,  e  altri  uomini  da  mare,  e 
d'  altre  condizioni.  I  quali  furono  esaminati,  e  trovata  la 
verita  del  tradimento.  A  di  16.  d'  Aprile  fu  sentenziato  pel 
detto  Consiglio  de'  Dieci,  che  Filippo  Calandario,  e  Bertucci 
Israeli©  fossero  appicati  alle  Colonne  rosse  del  balconate  del 
Palazzo,  nelle  quali  sta  a  vedere  il  Doge  la  festa  della 
Caccia.  E  cosi  furono  appiccati  con  spranghe  in  bocca.  E 
nel  giorno  seguente  questi  furono  condannati,  Niccolo  Zuc- 
cuolo,  Nicoletto  Blondo,  Nicoletto  Doro,  Marco  Giuda, 
Jacomello  Dagolino,  Nicoletto  Fedele  figliuolo  di  Filippo 
Calendaro,  Marco  Torello  detto  Israello,  Stefano  Trivisano 
Cambiatore  di  Santa  Margherita,  Antonio  dalle  Bende. 
Furono  tutti  presi  a  Chioggia,  che  fuggivano,  e  dipoi  in 
diversi  giorni  a  due  a  due,  e  a  uno  a  uno,  per  sentenza  fatta 
nel  detto  Consiglio  de'  Dieci,  furono  appicati  per  la  gola  alle 
Colonne,  continuando  dalle  rosse  del  Palazzo,  seguendo  fin 
verso  il  Canale.  E  altri  presi  furono  lasciati,  perche  sen- 
tirono  il  fatto,  ma  non  vi  furono,  tal  che  fu  dato  loro  ad  in- 
tendere  per  questi  capi,  che  venissero  coll'  arme,  per  pren- 
dere  alcuni  malfattori  in  servigio  della  Signoria,  ne  altro 
sapeano.  Fu  ancora  liberate  Nicoletto  Alberto,  il  Guardiaga, 
e  Bartolommeo  Ciriuola,  e  suo  figliuolo,  e  molti  altri,  che 
non  erano  in  colpa. 

*'  E  a  di  16.  d'  Aprile,  giorno  di  Venerdi,  fu  sentenziato 
nel  detto  Consiglio  de'  Dieci,  di  tagliare  la  testa  a  Messer 
Marino  Faliero  Doge  sul  pato  della  Scala  di  pierra,  dove  i 
Dogi  giurano  il  primo  sagramento,  quando  montano  prima 
in  Palazzo.  E  cosi  serrato  il  Palazzo,  la  mattina  seguente 
a  ora  di  Terza,  fu  tagliata  la  testa  al  detto  Doge  a  di  17. 
d' Aprile.  E  prima  la  beretta  fu  tolta  di  testa  al  detto  Doge, 
avanti  che  venisse  giu  dalla  Scala.  E  compiuta  la  giustizia, 
pare  che  un  Capo  de'  Dieci  andassa  alle  Colonne  del  Palazzo 
sopra  la  Piazza,  e  mostrasse  la  spada  insanguinata  a  tutti, 
dicendo:  E  stata  Jatta  la  gran  giustizia  del  Traditore.     E 


aperta  la  Porta  tutti  entrarono  dentro  con  gran  furia  a  ve- 
dere  il  Doge,  ch'  era  stato  giustiziato.  E'  da  sapere,  che  a 
tare  la  detta  giustizia  non  fu  Ser  Giovanni  Sanudo  il  Con- 
sigliere,  perche  era  andato  a  casa  per  difetto  della  persona, 
sicche  furono  quatordici  soli,  che  ballottarono,  cioe  cinque 
Consiglieri,  e  nove  del  Consiglio  de'  Dieci.  E  fu  preso,  che 
tutti  i  beni  del  Doge  fossero  confiscati  nel  Comune,  e  cosi 
degli  altri  traditori.  E  f  u  conceduto  al  detto  Doge  pel  detto 
Consiglio  de'  Dieci,  ch'  egli  potesse  ordinare  del  suo  per 
Ducati  du'  mila.  Ancora  fu  preso,  che  tutti  i  Consiglieri, 
e  Avogadori  del  Comune,  que'  del  Consiglio  de'  Dieci,  e 
della  Giunta,  ch'  erano  stati  a  fare  la  detta  sentenza  del 
Doge,  e  d'  altri,  avessero  licenza  di  portar'  arme  di  di  e  di 
notte  in  Venezia  e  da  Grado  fino  a  Cavarzere,  ch'  e  sotto  il 
Dogato,  con  due  fanti  in  vita  loro,  stando  i  fanti  con  essi  in 
casa  al  suo  pane  e  al  suo  vino.  E  chi  non  avesse  fanti, 
potesse  dar  tal  licenza  a'  suoi  figliuoli  ovvero  fratelli,  due 
pero  e  non  piu.  Eziandio  fu  data  licenza  dell'  arme  a  quattro 
Notaj  della  Cancelleria,  cioe  della  Corte  Maggiore,  che  fu- 
rono a  prendere  le  deposizioni  e  inquisizioni,  in  perpetuo  a 
loro  soli,  i  quali  furono  Amadio,  Nicoletto  di  Loreno,  Stef- 
fanello,  e  Pietro  de'  Compostelli,  Scrivani  de*  Signori  di 
notte.  Et  essendo  stati  impiccati  i  traditori,  e  tagliata  la 
testa  al  Doge,  rimase  la  Terra  in  gran  riposo,  e  quiete.  E 
come  in  una  Cronica  ho  trovato,  fu  portato  il  Corpo  del 
Doge  in  una  barca  con  otto  doppieri  a  seppelire  nella  sua 
area  a  San  Giovanni  e  Paolo,  la  quale  al  presente  e  in  quell' 
andito  per  mezzo  la  Chiesuola  di  Santa  Maria  della  Pace, 
fatta  fare  pel  Vescovo  Gabriello  di  Bergomo,  e  un  Cassone 
di  pietra  con  queste  lettere  :  Heic  jacet  Dominus  Marinus 
Faletro  Dux,  E  nel  gran  Consiglio  non  gli  e  stato  fatto  al- 
cun  Brieve,  ma  il  luogo  vacuo  con  lettere,  che  dicono  cosi : 
Hie  est  locus  Marini  Faletro,  decapitati  pro  criminibus.  E 
pare,  che  la  sua  casa  fosse  data  alia  Chiesa  di  Sant'  Apostolo, 
la  qual  era  quella  grande  sul  Pontc.  Tamen  vg^q  il  contrario, 


che  e  pure  di  Ca  Faliero,  o  che  i  Falieri  la  ricuperassero  con 
danari  dalla  Chiesa.  Ne  voglio  restar  di  scrivere  alcuni,  che 
volevano,  che  fosse  messo  nel  suo  breve,  cioe:  Marinus 
Faletro  Dux.  Temeritas  me  cepit.  Poenas  lui,  decapitatus 
pro  criminibus,  Altri  vi  fecero  un  Distico  assai  degno  al 
suo  merito,  il  quale  d  questo,  da  essere  posto  su  la  sua  se- 
pultura : 

Dux  Venetumjacet  heic,  patriam  qui  prodere  tentans, 

Sceptra,  Decus,  Censunij  perdidit,  atque  Caput.^' 

*         *         *         * 

"  Non  voglio  restar  di  scrivere  quello  che  ho  letto  in  una 
Cronica,  cioe,  che  Marino  Faliero  trovandosi  Podesta  e  Capi- 
tano  a  Treviso,  e  dovendosi  fare  una  Processione,  il  Vescovo 
stette  troppo  a  far  venire  il  Corpo  di  Cristo.  II  detto  Faliero 
era  di  tanta  superbia  e  arroganza,  che  diede  un  buffetto  al 
prefatO' Vescovo,  per  modo  ch'  egh  quasi  cadde  in  terra. 
Pero  fu  permesso,  che  il  Faliero  perdette  1'  inteletto,  e  fece 
la  mala  morte,  come  ho  scritto  di  sopra." 

Cronica  di  Sanuto — Muratori  S.  S.  Rerum  Italicarum — 
vol.  xxii.  628—639. 




On  the  eleventh  day  of  September,  in  the  year  of  our 
Lord  1354,  Marino  Faliero  was  elected  and  chosen  to  be 
the  Duke  of  the  Commonwealth  of  Venice.  He  was  Count 
of  Valdemariho,  in  the  Marches  of  Treviso,  and  a  Knight,  and 
a  wealthy  man  to  boot.  As  soon  as  the  election  was  completed, 
it  was  resolved  in  the  Great  Council,  that  a  deputation  of 
twelve  should  be  despatched  to  Marino  Faliero  the  Duke, 
who  was  then  on  his  way  from  Rome ;  for  when  he  was  chosen, 
he  was  Embassador  at  the  court  of  the  Holy  Father,  at 
Rome, — the  Holy  Father  himself  held  his  court  at  Avignon. 
When  Messer  Marino  Faliero  the  Duke  was  about  to  land 
in  this  city,  on  the  fifth  day  of  October,  1 354,  a  thick  haze 
came  on,  and  darkened  the  air ;  and  he  was  enforced  to  land 
on  the  place  of  Saint  Mark,  between  the  two  columns,  on  the 
spot  where  evil  doers  are  put  to  death ;  and  all  thought  that 
this  was  the  worst  of  tokens. — Nor  must  I  forget  to  write 
that  which  I  have  read  in  a  chronicle. — When  Messer  Marino 
Faliero  was  Podesta  and  Captain  of  Treviso,  the  Bishop  de- 
layed coming  in  with  the  holy  sacrament,  on  a  day  when  a 
procession  was  to  take  place.  Now  the  said  Marino  Faliero 
was  so  very  proud  and  wrathful,  that  he  buffeted  the  Bishop, 
and  almost  struck  him  to  the  ground.  And,  therefore. 
Heaven  allowed  Marino  Faliero  to  go  out  of  his  right  senses, 
in  order  that  lie  might  bring  himself  to  an  evil  death. 


When  this  Duke  had  held  the  Dukedom  during  nine 
months  and  six  days,  he,  being  wicked  and  ambitious,  sought 
to  make  himself  lord  of  Venice,  in  the  manner  which  I  have 
read  in  an  ancient  chronicle.  When  the  Thursday  arrived 
upon  which  they  were  wont  to  hunt  the  Bull,  the  Bull  hunt 
took  place  as  usual ;  and  according  to  the  usage  of  those 
times,  after  the  Bull  hunt  had  ended,  they  all  proceeded 
unto  the  palace  of  the  Duke,  and  assembled  together  in  one 
of  his  halls ;  and  they  disported  themselves  with  the  women. 
And  until  the  first  bell  tolled  they  danced,  and  then  a  banquet 
was  served  up.  My  Lord  the  Duke  paid  the  expenses  thereof, 
provided  he  had  a  Duchess,  and  after  the  banquet  they  all 
returned  to  their  homes. 

Now  to  this  feast  there  came  a  certain  Ser  Michele  Steno, 
a  gentleman  of  poor  estate  and  very  young,  but  crafty  and 
daring,  and  who  loved  one  of  the  damsels  of  the  Duchess. 
Ser  Michele  stood  amongst  the  women  upon  the  solajo; 
and  he  behaved  indiscreetly,  so  that  my  Lord  the  Duke  or- 
dered that  he  should  be  kicked  off  the  solajo;  and  the 
Esquires  of  the  Duke  flung  him  down  f^jom  the  solajo  ac- 
cordingly. Ser  Michele  thought  that  such  an  affront  was 
beyond  all  bearing ;  and  when  the  feast  was  over,  and  all 
other  persons  had  left  the  palace,  he,  continuing  heated  with 
anger,  went  to  the  hall  of  audience,  and  wrote  certain  un- 
seemly words  relating  to  the  Duke  and  the  Duchess,  upon  the 
chair  in  which  the  Duke  was  used  to  sit ;  for  in  those  days 
the  Duke  did  not  cover  his  chair  with  cloth  of  sendal,  but 
he  sat  in  a  chair  of  wood.  Ser  Michele  wrote  thereon : — 
"  Marin  Falier,  the  husband  of  the  fair  mfe;  others  hiss  her, 
but  he  keeps  her.''  In  the  morning  the  words  were  seen,  and 
the  matter  was  considered  to  be  very  scandalous  ;  and  the 
Senate  commanded  the  Avogadori  of  the  Commonwealth  to 
proceed  therein  with  the  greatest  diligence.  A  largesse  of 
great  amount  was  innnediately  proffered  by  the  Avogadori,  in 
order  to  discover  who  had  written  these  words.  And  at  length 


it  was  known  that  Michele  Steno  had  written  them.  It  was 
resolved  in  the  Council  of  Forty  that  he  should  be  arrested ; 
and  he  then  confessed,  that  in  the  fit  of  vexation  and  spite, 
occasioned  by  his  being  thrust  off  the  solajo  in  the  presence 
of  his  mistress,  he  had  written  the  words.  Therefore  the 
Council  debated  thereon.  And  the  Council  took  his  youth 
into  consideration,  and  that  he  was  a  lover,  and  therefore 
they  adjudged  that  he  should  be  kept  in  close  confinement 
during  two  months,  and  that  afterwards  he  should  be  banished 
from  Venice  and  the  state  during  one  year.  In  consequence 
of  this  merciful  sentence  the  Duke  became  exceedingly 
wroth,  it  appearing  to  him  that  the  Council  had  not  acted  in 
such  a  manner  as  was  required  by  the  respect  due  to  his 
ducal  dignity;  and  he  said  that  they  ought  to  have  con- 
demned Sir  Michele  to  be  hanged  by  the  neck,  or  at  least  to 
be  banished  for  life. 

Now  it  was  fated  that  My  Lord  Duke  Marino  was  to  have 
his  head  cut  off.  And  as  it  is  necessary  when  any  effect  is 
to  be  brought  about,  that  the  cause  of  such  effect  must  hap- 
pen, it  therefore  came  to  pass,  that  on  the  very  day  after  sen- 
tence had  been  pronounced  on  Ser  Michele  Steno,  being  the 
first  day  of  Lent,  a  Gentleman  of  the  house  of  Barbaro,  a 
choleric  Gentleman,  went  to  the  arsenal  and  required  certain 
things  of  the  masters  of  the  galleys.  This  he  did  in  the 
presence  of  the  Admiral  of  the  arsenal,  and  he,  hearing  the 
request,  answered, — No,  it  cannot  be  done. — High  words 
arose  between  the  Gentleman  and  the  Admiral,  and  the 
Gentleman  struck  him  with  his  fist  just  above  the  eye;  and 
as  he  happened  to  have  a  ring  on  his  finger,  the  ring  cut  the 
Admiral  and  drew  blood.  The  Admiral,  all  bruised  and 
bloody,  ran  straight  to  the  Duke  to  complain,  and  with  the 
intent  of  praying  him  to  inflict  some  heavy  punishment  upon 
the  Gentleman  of  Ca  Barbaro. — "  What  wouldst  thou  have 
me  do  for  thee  ?"  answered  the  Duke ; — "  think  upon  the 
"  shameful  gibe  which  hath  been  written  concerning  mc ; 


'*  and  think  on  the  manner  in  which  they  have  punished  that 
"  ribald  Michele  Steno,  who  wrote  it ;  and  see  how  the 
"  Council  of  Forty  respect  our  person." — Upon  this  the 
Admiral  answered; — "  My  Lord  Duke,  if  you  would  wish  to 
"  make  yourself  a  Prince,  and  to  cut  all  those  cuckoldy  gen- 
"  tlemen  to  pieces,  I  have  the  heart,  if  you  do  but  help  me, 
"  to  make  you  Prince  of  all  this  state ;  and  then  you  may 
"  punish  them  all." — Hearing  this,  the  Duke  said; — "  How 
"  can  such  a  matter  be  brought  about  ?" — and  so  they  dis- 
coursed thereon. 

The  Duke  called  for  his  nephew  Ser  Bertuccio  Faliero, 
who  lived  with  him  in  the  palace,  and  they  communed  about 
this  plot.  And  without  leaving  the  place,  they  sent  for  Philip 
Calendaro,  a  seaman  of  great  repute,  and  for  Bertucci  Isra- 
ello,  who  was  exceedingly  wily  and  cunning.  Then  taking 
counsel  amongst  themselves,  they  agreed  to  call  in  some 
others ;  and  so,  for  several  nights  successively,  they  met  with 
the  Duke  at  home  in  his  palace.  And  the  following  men 
were  called  in  singly ;  to  wit : — rNiccolo  Fagiuolo,  Giovanni 
da  Corfu,  Stefano  Fagiano,  Niccolo  dalle  Bende,  Niccolo 
Biondo,  and  Stefano  Trivisiano. — It  was  concerted  that  six- 
teen or  seventeen  leaders  should  be  stationed  in  various  parts 
of  the  City,  each  being  at  the  head  of  forty  men,  armed  and 
prepared;  but  the  followers  were  not  to  know  their  de- 
stination. On  the  appointed  day  they  were  to  make  affrays 
amongst  themselves  here  and  there,  in  order  that  the  Duke 
might  have  a  pretence  for  tolling  the  bells  of  San  Marco ; 
these  bells  are  never  rung  but  by  the  order  of  the  Duke. 
And  at  the  sound  of  the  bells,  these  sixteen  or  seventeen, 
with  their  followers,  were  to  come  to  San  Marco,  through 
the  streets  which  open  upon  the  Piazza.  And  when  the 
noble  and  leading  citizens  should  come  into  the  Piazza, 
to  know  the  cause  of  the  riot,  then  the  conspirators  were  to 
cut  them  in  pieces ;  and  this  work  being  finished,  My  Lord 
Marino  Faliero  the  Duke  was  to  be  proclaimed  the  Lord  of 


Venice.  Things  having  beeh  thus  settled,  they  agreed  to 
fulfil  their  intent  on  Wednesday,  the  fifteenth  day  of  April, 
in  the  year  1355.  So  covertly  did  they  plot,  that  no  one 
ever  dreamt  of  their  machinations. 

But  the  Lord,  who  hath  always  helped  this  most  glorious 
City,  and  who,  loving  its  righteousness  and  holiness,  hath 
never  forsaken  it,  inspired  oneBeltramo  Bergamasco  to  be  the 
cause  of  bringing  the  plot  to  light  in  the  following  manner. 
This  Beltramo,  who  belonged  to  Ser  Niccolo  Lioni  of  Santo 
Stefano,  had  heard  a  word  or  two  of  what  was  to  take  place;  » 
and  so,  in  the  before-mentioned  month  of  April,  he  went  to 
the  house  of  the  aforesaid  Ser  Niccolo  Lioni,  and  told  him 
all  the  particulars  of  the  plot.  Ser  Niccolo,  when  he  heard 
all  these  things,  was  struck  dead,  as  it  were,  with  affright. 
He  heard  all  the  particulars ;  and  Beltramo  prayed  him  to 
keep  it  all  secret ;  and,  if  he  told  Ser  Niccolo,  it  was  in 
order  that  Ser  Niccolo  might  stop  at  home  on  the  fifteenth 
of  April,  and  thus  save  his  life.  Beltramo  was  going,  but 
Ser  Niccolo  ordered  his  servants  to  lay  hands  upon  him,  and 
lock  him  up.  Ser  Niccolo  then  went  to  the  house  of  Messer 
Giovanni  Gradenigo  Nasoni,  who  afterwards  became  Duke, 
and  who  also  lived  at  Santo  Stefano,  and  told  him  all.  The 
matter  seemed  to  him  to  be  of  the  very  greatest  importance, 
as  indeed  it  was ;  and  they  two  went  to  the  house  of  Ser 
Marco  Cornaro,  who  lived  at  San  Felice ;  and,  having  spoken 
with  him,  they  all  three  then  determined  to  go  back  to  the 
house  of  Ser  Niccolo  Lioni,  to  examine  the  said  Beltramo : 
and  having  questioned  him,  and  heard  all  that  he  had  to  say, 
they  left  him  in  confinement.  And  then  they  all  three  went 
into  the  sacristy  of  San  Salvatore,  and  sent  their  men  to 
summon  the  Counsellors,  the  Avogadori,  the  Capi  de'Dieci, 
and  those  of  the  Great  Council. 

When  all  were  assembled,  the  whole  story  was  told  to 
them.  They  were  struck  dead,  as  it  were,  with  affright. 
They  determined  to  send  for  Beltramo.     Hej^as  brought  in 


before  them.  They  examined  him,  and  ascertained  that  the 
matter  was  true ;  and,  although  they  were  exceedingly  trou- 
bled, yet  they  determined  upon  their  measures.  And  they 
sent  for  the  Capi  de'  Quaranta,  the  Signori  di  Notte,  the 
Capi  de'  Sestieri,  and  the  Cinque  della  Pace ;  and  they  were 
ordered  to  associate  to  their  men,  other  good  men  and  true, 
who  were  to  proceed  to  the  houses  of  the  ringleaders  of  the 
conspiracy,  and  secure  them.  And  they  secured  the  fore- 
men of  the  arsenal,  in  order  that  the  conspirators  might 
not  do  mischief.  Towards  nightfall  they  assembled  in  the 
palace.  When  they  were  assembled  in  the  palace,  they 
caused  the  gates  of  the  quadrangle  of  the  palace  to  be  shut. 
And  they  sent  to  the  keeper  of  the  Bell-tower,  and  forbade 
the  tolling  of  the  bells.  All  this  was  carried  into  effect.  The 
before-mentioned  conspirators  were  secured,  and  they  were 
brought  to  the  palace ;  and,  as  the  Council  of  Ten  saw  that 
the  Duke  was  in  the  plot,  they  resolved  that  twenty  of  the 
leading  men  of  the  state  should  be  associated  to  them,  for 
the  purpose  of  consultation  and  deliberation,  but  that  they 
should  not  be  allowed  to  ballot. 

The  counsellors  were  the  following ;  Ser  Giovanni  Mo- 
cenigo,  of  the  Sestiero  of  San  Marco ;  Ser  Almoro  Veniero 
da  Santa  Marina,  of  the  Sestiero  of  Castello ;  Ser  Tomaso 
Viadro,  of  the  Sestiero  of  Canaregio  ;  Ser  Giovanni  Sanudo, 
of  the  Sestiero  of  Santa  Croce  ;  Ser  Pietro  Trivisano,  of  the 
Sestiero  of  San  Paolo ;  Ser  Pantalione  Barbo  il  Grando,  of 
the  Sestiero  of  Ossoduro.  The  Avogadori  of  the  Common- 
wealth were  Zufredo  Morosini,  and  Ser  Orio  Pasqualigo; 
and  these  did  not  ballot.  Those  of  the  Council  of  Ten  were 
Ser  Giovanni  Marcello,  Ser  Tommaso  Sanudo,  and  Ser 
Micheletto  Dolfino,  the  heads  of  the  aforesaid  Council  of 
Ten.  Ser  Luca  da  Legge,  and  Ser  Pietro  da  Mosto,  inqui- 
sitors of  the  aforesaid  Council.  And  Ser  Marco  Polani,  Ser 
Marino  Veniero,  Ser  Lando  Lombardo,  and  Ser  Nicoletto 
Trivisano,  of  Sant*  Angelo. 


Late  in  the  night,  just  before  the  dawning,  they  chose  a 
junta  of  twenty  noblemen  of  Venice  from  amongst  the  wisest 
and  the  worthiest,  and  the  oldest.  They  were  to  give  coun- 
sel, but  not  to  ballot.  And  they  would  not  admit  any  one  of 
Ca  Faliero.  And  Niccolo  Faliero,  and  another  Niccolo 
Faliero,  of  San  Tomaso,  were  expelled  from  the  Council, 
because  they  belonged  to  the  family  of  the  Doge.  And  this 
resolution  of  creating  the  junta  of  twenty  was  much  praised 
throughout  the  state.  The  following  were  the  members  of 
the  junta  of  twenty: — Ser  Marco  Giustiniani,  Procuratore, 
Ser  Andrea  Erizzo,  Procuratore,  Ser  Lionardo  Giustinianai 
Procuratore,  Ser  Andrea  Contarini,  Ser  Simone  Dandolo, 
Ser  Nicolo  Volpe,  Ser  Giovanni  Loredano,  Ser  Marco  Diedo, 
Ser  Giovanni  Gradenigo,  Ser  Andrea  Cornaro,  Cavaliere,  Ser 
Marco  Soranzo,  Ser  Rinieri  du  Mosto,  Ser  Gazano  Marcello, 
Ser  Marino  Morosini,  Ser  Stefano  Belegno,  Ser  Nicolo  Lioni, 
Ser  Filippo  Orio,  Ser  Marco  Trivisano,  Ser  Jacopo  Braga- 
dino,  Ser  Giovanni  Foscarini. 

These  twenty  were  accordingly  called  in  to  the  Council  of 
Ten ;  and  they  sent  for  My  Lord  Marino  Faliero  the  Duke : 
and  My  Lord  Marino  was  then  consorting  in  the  palace  with 
people  of  great  estate,  gentlemen,  and  other  good  men,  none 
of  whom  knew  yet  how  the  fact  stood. 

At  the  same  time  Bertucci  Israello,  who,  as  one  of  the 
ringleaders,  was  to  head  the  conspirators  in  Santa  Croce, 
was  arrested  and  bound,  and  brought  before  the  Council. 
Zanello  del  Brin,  Nicoletto  di  Rosa,  Nicoletto  Alberto,  and 
the  Guardiaga,  were  also  taken,  together  with  several  sea- 
men, and  people  of  various  ranks.  These  were  examined, 
and  the  truth  of  the  plot  was  ascertained. 

On  the  sixteenth  of  April  judgment  was  given  in  the 
Council  of  Ten,  that  Filippo  Calendario  and  Bertucci  Israello 
should  be  hanged  upon  the  red  pillars  of  the  balcony  of  the 
palace,  from  which  the  Duke  is  wont  to  look  at  the  Bull 
hunt :  and  they  were  hanged  with  gags  in  their  mouths. 


The  next  day  the  following  were  condemned : — Niccolo 
Zuccuolo,  Niccoletto  Blondo,  Nicoletto  Doro,  Marco  Giuda, 
Jacomello  Dagolino,  Nicoletto  Fidele,  the  son  of  Filippo 
Calendaro,  Marco  Torello,  called  Israello,  Stefano  Trivisano, 
the  money  changer  of  Santa  Margherita,  and  Antonio  dalle 
Bende.  These  were  all  taken  at  Chiozza,  for  they  were  en- 
deavouring to  escape.  Afterwards,  by  virtue  of  the  sentence 
which  was  passed  upon  them  in  the  Council  of  Ten,  they 
were  hanged  on  successive  days,  some  singly  and  some  in 
couples,  upon  the  columns  of  the  palace,  beginning  from  the 
red  columns,  and  so  going  onwards  towards  the  canal.  And 
other  prisoners  were  discharged,  because,  although  they  had 
been  involved  in  the  conspiracy,  yet  they  had  not  assisted  in 
it ;  for  they  were  given  to  understand  by  some  of  the  heads 
of  the  plot,  that  they  were  to  come  armed  and  prepared 
for  the  service  of  the  state,  and  in  order  to  secure  certain 
criminals,  and  they  knew  nothing  else.  Nicoletto  Alberto, 
the  Guardiaga,  and  Bartolommeo  Ciricolo  and  his  son,  and 
several  others,  who  were  not  guilty,  were  discharged. 

On  Friday,  the  sixteenth  day  of  April,  judgAient  was  also 
given,  in  the  aforesaid  Council  of  Ten,  that  My  Lord  Marino 
Faliero,  the  Duke,  should  have  his  head  cut  off,  and  that 
the  execution  should  be  done  on  the  landing-place  of  the 
stone  staircase,  where  the  Dukes  take  their  oath  when  they 
first  enter  the  palace.  On  the  following  day,  the  seven- 
teenth of  April,  the  doors  of  the  palace  being  shut,  the  Duke 
had  his  head  cut  off,  about  the  hour  of  noon.  And  the 
cap  of  estate  was  taken  from  the  Duke's  head  before  he 
came  down  stairs.  When  the  execution  was  over,  it  is  said 
that  one  of  the  Council  of  Ten  went  to  the  columns  of  the 
palace  over  against  the  place  of  St.  Mark,  and  that  he  showed 
the  bloody  sword  unto  the  people,  crying  out  with  a  loud 
voice — *'  The  terrible  doom  hath  fallen  upon  the  traitor  !" — 
and  the  doors  were  opened,  and  the  people  all  rushed  in, 
to  see  the  corpse  of  the  Duke,  who  had  been  beheaded. 


It  must  be  known,  that  Ser  Giovanni  Sanudo,  the  coun- 
cillor, was  not  present  when  the  aforesaid  sentence  was  pro- 
nounced; because  he  was  unwell  and  remained  at  home. 
So  that  only  fourteen  balloted;  that  is  to  say,  five  coun- 
cillors, and  nine  of  the  Council  of  Ten.  And  it  was  adjudged, 
that  all  the  lands  and  chattels  of  the  Duke,  as  well  as  of  the 
other  traitors,  should  be  forfeited  to  the  state.  And  as  a 
grace  to  the  Duke,  it  was  resolved  in  the  Council  of  Ten, 
that  he  should  be  allowed  to  dispose  of  two  thousand  ducats 
out  of  his  own  property.  And  it  was  resolved,  that  all  the 
counsellors  and  all  the  Avogadori  of  the  commonwealth, 
those  of  the  Council  of  Ten,  and  the  members  of  the  junta 
who  had  assisted  in  passing  sentence  on  the  Duke  and  the 
other  traitors,  should  have  the  privilege  of  carrying  arms 
both  by  day  and  by  night  in  Venice,  and  from  Grado  to 
Cavazere.  And  they  were  also  to  be  allowed  two  footmen 
carrying  arms,  the  aforesaid  footmen  living  and  boarding 
with  them  in  their  own  houses.  And  he  who  did  not  keep 
two  footmen  might  transfer  the  privilege  to  his  sons  or  his 
brothers ;  but  only  to  two.  Permission  of  carrying  arms  was 
also  granted  to  the  four  Notaries  of  the  Chancery,  that  is  to 
say,  of  the  Supreme  Court,  who  took  the  depositions ;  and 
they  were,  Amedio,  Nicoletto  di  Lorino,  StefFanello,  and 
Pietro  de  Compostelli,  the  secretaries  of  the  Signori  di  Notte. 

After  the  traitors  had  been  hanged,  and  the  Duke  had  had 
his  head  cut  off,  the  state  remained  in  great  tranquillity  and 
peace.  And,  as  I  have  read  in  a  Chronicle,  the  corpse  of 
the  Duke  was  removed  in  a  barge,  with  eight  torches,  to  his 
tomb  in  the  church  of  San  Giovanni  e  Paolo,  where  it  was 
buried.  The  tomb  is  now  in  that  aisle  in  the  middle  of  the 
little  church  of  Santa  Maria  della  Pace,  which  was  built  by 
Bishop  Gabriel  of  Bergamo.  It  is  a  coffin  of  stone,  with  these 
words  engraven  thereon :  "  Heic  Jacet  Dominus  Marinus 
Faletro  Dux." — And  they  did  not  paint  his  portrait  in  the 
hall  of  the  Great  Council : — but  in  the  place  where  it  ought 



to  have  been,  you  see  these  words : — "  Hie  est  locus  Marini 
Feletro  decapitati  pro  criminibus.'' — And  it  is  thought  that  his 
house  was  granted  to  the  church  of  Sant'  Apostolo ;  it  was 
that  great  one  near  the  bridge.  Yet  this  could  not  be  the 
case,  or  else  the  family  bought  it  back  from  the  church ;  for 
it  still  belongs  to  C^  Faliero.  I  must  not  refrain  from  noting, 
that  some  wished  to  write  the  following  words  in  the  place 
where  his  portrait  ought  to  have  been,  as  aforesaid: — 
**  Marinus  Faletro  Dux,  temeritas  me  cepit,  danas  lui,  de- 
"  capitatus  pro  criminibus." — Others,  also,  indited  a  couplet, 
worthy  of  being  inscribed  upon  his  tomb. 

"  Dux  Venetum  jacet  heic,  patriam  qui  prodere  tentans 
**  Sceptra,  decus,  censum,  perdidit,  atque  caput." 

[I  am  obliged  for  this  excellent  translation  of  the  old  Chronicle  to  Mr. 
F.  Cohen,  to  whom  the  reader  will  find  himself  indebted  for  a  version  that  I 
could  not  myself  (though  after  many  years'  intercourse  with  Italian)  have 
given  by  any  means  so  purely  and  so  faithfully.] 



'<  Al  giovane  Doge  Andrea  Dandolo  succedette  un  vecchio, 
il  quale  tardi  si  pose  al  timone  della  repubblica,  ma  sempre 
prima  di  quel,  che  facea  d'  uopo  a  lui,  ed  alia  patria :  egli  ^ 
Marino  Faliero,  personaggio  a  me  noto  per  antica  dimesti- 
chezza.  Falsa  era  1*  opinione  intorno  a  lui,  giacchd  egli  si 
mostro  fornito  piu  di  corraggio,  che  di  senno.  Non  pago 
della  prima  dignita,  entro  con  sinistro  piede  nel  pubblico 
Palazzo :  imperciocche  questo  Doge  dei  Veneti,  magistrate 
sacro  in  tutti  i  secoli,  che  dagli  antichi  fu  sempre  venerato 
qual  nume  in  quella  citta,  1'  altr*  jeri  fu  decollato  nel  ves- 
tibolo  deir  istesso  Palazzo.  Discorrerei  fin  dal  principio 
le  cause  di  un  tale  evvento,  e  cosi  vario,  ed  ambiguo  non 
ne  fosse  il  grido.  Nessuno  pero  lo  scusa,  tutti  afFermano,  che 
egli  abbia  voluto  cangiar  qualche  cosa  nell'  ordine  della 
repubblica  a  lui  tramandato  dai  maggiori.  Che  desiderava 
egli  di  piu  ?  lo  son  d'  avviso,  che  egli  abbia  ottenuto  cio, 
che  non  si  concedette  a  nessun  altro :  mentre  adempiva  gli 
uflBcj  di  legato  presso  il  Pontefice,  e  sulle  rive  del  Rodano 
trattava  la  pace,  che  io  prima  di  lui  avevo  indarno  tentato 
di  conchiudere,  gli  fu  conferito  1*  onore  del  Ducato,  che 
ne  chiedeva,  ne  s*  aspettava.  Tomato  in  patria,  penso  a 
quello,  cui  nessuno  non  pose  mente  giammai,  e  soffri  quello, 
che  a  niuno  accadde  mai  di  soffrire  :  giacch^  in  quel  luogo 
celebcrrimo,  c  chiarissimo,  c  bellissimo  infra  tutri  quelli,  che 



io  vidi,  ove  i  suoi  antenati  avevano  ricevuti  grandisslmi 
onori  in  mezzo  alle  pompe  trionfali,  ivi  egli  fu  trascinato  in 
modo  servile,  e  spogliato  delle  insegne  ducali,  perdette  la 
testa,  e  macchio  col  proprio  sangue  le  soglie  del  tempio,  V 
atrio  del  Palazzo,  e  le  scale  marmoree  rendute  spesse  volte 
illustri  o  dalle  solenni  festivita,  o  dalle  ostili  spoglie.  Ho 
notato  il  luogo,  ora  noto  il  tempo :  e  1'  anno  del  Natale  di 
Cristo  1355,  fu  il  giorno  18  d'Aprile.  Si  alto  e  il  grido 
sparso,  che  se  alcuno  esaminera  la  disciplina,  e  le  costumanze 
di  quella  citta,  e  quanto  mutamento  di  cose  venga  minacciato 
dalla  morte  di  un  sol  uomo  (quantunque  molti  altri,  come 
narrano,  essendo  complici,  o  subirono  1'  istesso  supplicio, 
o  lo  aspettano)  si  accorgera,  che  nulla  di  piu  grande  avvenne 
ai  nostri  tempi  nella  Italia.  Tu  forse  qui  attendi  il  mio 
giudizio:  assolvo  il  popolo,  se  credere  alia  fama,  benche 
abbia  potuto  e  castigare  piu  mitemente,  e  con  maggior 
dolcezza  vendicare  il  suo  dolore :  ma  non  cosi  facilmente,  si 
modera  un'  ira  giusta  insieme,  e  grande  in  un  numeroso 
popolo  principalmente,  nel  quale  il  precipitoso,  ed  instabile 
volgo  aguzza  gli  stimoli  dell'  irracondia  con  rapidi,  e  scon- 
sigliati  claraori.  Compatisco,  e  nell'  istesso  tempo  mi  adiro 
con  quell*  infelice  uomo,  il  quale  adorno  di  un'  insolito 
onore,  non  so,  che  cosa  si  volesse  negli  estremi  anni  della 
sua  vita :  la  calamita  di  lui  diviene  sempre  piu  grave,  perche 
dalla  sentenza  contra  di  esso  promulgata  aperira,  che  egli 
fu  non  solo  misero,  ma  insano,  e  demente,  e  che  con  vane 
arti  si  usurpo  per  tanti  anni  una  falsa  fama  di  sapienza. 
Ammonisco  i  Dogi,  i  quali  gli  succederano,  che  questo  e  un' 
esempio  posto  inanziai  loro  occhj,  quale  specchio,  nel  quale 
veggano  d'  essere  non  Signori,  ma  Duci,  anzi  nemmeno  Duci, 
ma  onorati  servi  della  Repubblica.  Tu  sta  sano ;  e  giacch^ 
fluttuano  le  pubbliche  cose,  sforsiamoci  di  governar  mode- 
stissimamente  i  privati  nostri  affari." 

Levati.  Viaggi  di  Pet r area,  vol.  iv.  p.  323* 


The  above  Italian  translation  from  the  Latin  epistles  of 
Petrarch  proves — 

Istly,  That  Marino  Faliero  was  a  personal  friend  of  Pe- 
trarch's, "  antica  dimestichezza/'  old  intimacy,  is  the  phrase 
of  the  poet. 

2dly,  That  Petrarch  thought  that  he  had  more  courage 
than  conduct,  "  piu  di  corraggio  che  di  senno." 

3dly,  That  there  was  some  jealousy  on  the  part  of  Pe- 
trarch ;  for  he  says  that  Marino  Faliero  was  treating  of  the 
peace  which  he  himself  had  "  vainly  attempted  to  conclude.*' 

4thly,  That  the  honour  of  the  Dukedom  was  conferred 
upon  him,  which  he  neither  sought  nor  expected,  "  che  ne 
chiedeva  ne  aspettava,"  and  which  had  never  been  granted  to 
any  other  in  like  circumstances,  "  cio  che  non  si  concedette 
a  nessun  altro,"  a  proof  of  the  high  esteem  in  which  he  must 
have  been  held. 

5thly,  That  he  had  a  reputation  for  tuisdom,  only  forfeited 
by  the  last  enterprise  of  his  life,  "  si  usurpo  per  tanti  anni 
una  falsa  fama  di  sapienza." — *'  He  had  usurped  for  so 
many  years  a  false  fame  of  wisdom,"  rather  a  difficult  task 
I  should  think.  People  are  generally  found  out  before  eighty 
years  of  age,  at  least  in  a  republic. 

From  these,  and  the  other  historical  notes  which  I  have 
collected,  it  may  be  inferred,  that  Marino  Faliero  possessed 
many  of  the  qualities,  but  not  the  success  of  a  hero ;  and 
that  his  passions  were  too  violent.  The  paltry  and  ignorant 
account  of  Dr.  Moore  falls  to  the  ground.  Petrarch  says, 
"  that  there  had  been  no  greater  event  in  his  times"  (our  times 
literally)  *'  nostri  tempi,"  in  Italy.  He  also  differs  from  the 
historian  in  saying  that  Faliero  was  "  on  the  banks  of  the 
Rhone"  instead  of  at  Rome,  when  elected;  the  other 
accounts  say,  that  the  deputation  of  the  Venetian  senate 
met  him  at  Ravenna.  How  this  may  have  been,  it  is  not 
for  me  to  decide,  and  is  of  no  great  importance.  Had  the 
man  succeeded,  he  would  have  changed  the  face  of  Venice, 
and  perhaps  of  Italy.     As  it  is,  what  are  they  both  ? 



Extrait  de  VOuvrage  Histoire  de  la  Ripuhlique  de  Venise, 
par  P.  Daru  de  V  Academie  Fran  false,  torn.  v.  livre  xxxv. 
p.  95.  &c.    Edition  de  Paris  MDCCCXIX. 

"  A  CEs  attaques  si  frequentes  que  le  gouvernement  diri- 
geait  contre  le  clerge,  a  ces  luttes  etablies  entre  les  difFerens 
corps  constitues,  a  ces  entreprises  de  la  masse  de  la  noblesse 
contre  les  depositaires  du  pouvoir,  a  toutes  ces  propositions 
d'innovation  qui  se  terminaient toujours  par  des  coups  d'etat; 
il  faut  ajouter  une  autre  cause  non  moins  propre  a  propager 
le  mepris  des  anciennes  doctrines,  c'etait  Vexch  de  la  cor- 

"  Cette  liberty  de  moeurs,  qu'on  avait  longtemps  vantee 
comme  le  charme  principal  de  la  societe  de  Venise,  etat  de- 
venue  un  desordre  scandaleux;  le  lien  du  mariage  etait 
moins  sacre  dans  ce  pays  catholique  que  dans  ceux  ou  les 
lois  civiles  et  religieuses  permettent  de  le  dissoudre.  Faute 
de  pouvoir  rompre  le  contrat,  on  supposait  qu'il  n'avait 
jamais  existe,  et  les  moyens  de  nullite,  allegues  avec  im- 
pudeur  par  les  epoux,  etaient  admis  avec  la  meme  facilite 
par  des  magistrats  et  par  des  pretres  egalement  cOrrompus. 
Ces  divorces  colores  d'un  autre  nom  devinrent  si  frequents, 
que.l'acte  le  plus  important  de  la  societe  civile  se  trouva  de 
la  competence  d'un  tribunal  d' exception,  et  que  ce  fut  a  la 
police  de  reprimer  le  scandale.  Le  conseil  des  dix  ordonna, 
en  1782,  que  toute  femme,  qui  intenterait  une  demande  en 


dissolution  de  mariage,  serait  obligee  d'en  attendre  le  juge- 
ment  dans  un  couvent  que  le  tribunal  designerait  *.  Bientot 
apres  il  evoqua  devant  lui  toutes  les  causes  de  cette  nature  t. 
Get  empietement  sur  la  jurisdiction  ecclesiastique,  ayant 
occasionne  des  reclamations  de  la  part  de  la  cour  de  Rome, 
le  conseil  se  reserva  le  droit  de  debouter  les  epoux  de  leur 
demande ;  et  consentit  a  la  renvoyer  devant  I'officialite)  toutes 
les  fois  qu'il  ne  I'aurait  pas  rejetee  J. 

'*  II  y  eut  un  moment,  oii  sans  doute  le  renversement  des 
fortunes,  la  perte  des  jeunes  gens,  les  discordes  domestiques, 
determincrent  le  gouvernement  a  secarter  de  maximes  qu*il 
s'etait  faites  sur  la  liberte  de  moeurs  qu'il  permettait  a  ses 
sujets:  on  chassa  de  Venise  toutes  les  courtisanes.  Mais 
leur  absence  ne  suffisait  pas  pour  ramener  aux  bonnes 
mcEurs  toute  une  population  elevee  dans  la  plus  honteuse 
licence.  Le  desordre  penetra  dans  I'interieur  des  families, 
dans  les  cloitres ;  et  I'on  se  crut  oblige  de  rappeler,  d'in- 
demniser  §  meme  des  femmes,  qui  surprenaient  quelquefois 
d'importants  secrets,  et  qu'on  pouvait  employer  utilement  a 
miner  des  hommes  que  leur  fortune  aurait  pu  rendre  dan- 
gereux.  Depuis,  la  licence  est  toujours  allee  croissant,  et 
Ton  a  vu  non-seulement  des  meres  trafiquer  de  la  virginite 
de  leurs  filles,  mais  la  vendre  par  un  contrat,  dont  I'au- 
thenticite  etait  garantie  par  la  signature  d'un  officier  public, 
et  I'execution  raise  sous  la  protection  des  lois  ||. 

♦  Correspondance  de  M.  Schlick,  charge  d'afl&ires  de  France,  depeche  du 

f  Ibid.  Depeche  du  31  Aout. 

I  Ibid.  Depeche  du  3  Septembre  1785. 

§  Le  decret  de  rappel  les  designait  sous  le  nom  de  nostre  henemerite  mere- 
Irict.  On  leur  assigna  un  fonds  et  des  maisons  appelees,  Case  rampaue,  d'ou 
▼ient  la  denomination  injurieuse  de  Carampune. 

II  Mayer  Description  de  Venise,  torn.  2.  ct  M.  Archenhplz  Tableau  df  Vltalie, 
torn.  1.  chap.  2. 


"  Les  parloirs  des  couvents  ou  etaient  renfermees  les  filles 
nobles,  les  maisons  des  courtisanes,  quoique  la  police  y  en- 
tretint  soigneusement  un  grand  nombre  de  surveillants,  etaient 
les  seuls  points  de  reunion  de  la  societe  de  Venise,  et  dans 
ces  deux  endroits  si  divers  on  etait  egalement  libre.  La 
musique,  les  collations,  la  galanterie,  n'etaient  pas  plus  in- 
terdites  dans  les  parloirs  que  dans  les  casins.  II  y  avait  un 
grand  nombre  de  casins  destines  aux  reunions  publiques,  ou 
le  jeu  etait  la  principale  occupation  de  la  societe.  C'etait 
un  singulier  spectacle  de  voir  autour  d'une  table  des  per- 
sonnes  des  deux  sexes  en  masque,  et  de  graves  personnages 
en  robe  de  magistrature,  implorant  le  hasard,  passant  des 
angoisses  du  desespoir  aux  illusions  de  I'esperance,  et  cela 
sans  proferer  une  parole. 

*'  Les  riches  avaient  des  casins  particuliers ;  mais  ils  y  vi- 
vaient  avec  mystere ;  leurs  femmes  delaissees  trouvaient  un 
dedommagement  dans  la  liberte  dont  elles  jouissaient.  La 
corruption  des  moeurs  les  avait  privees  de  tout  leur  empire ; 
on  vient  de  parcourir  toute  Thistoire  de  Venise,  en  on  ne 
les  9.  pas  vues  une  seule  fois  exercer  la  moindre  influence." 


Extract  from  the  History  of  the  Republic  of  Venice,  by  P, 
Darv,  Member  of  the  French  Academy,  vol.  v.  b.  xxxiv. 
p.  95.  &c.     Paris  Edit.  1819. 

"  To  these  attacks  so  frequently  pointed  by  the  govern- 
ment against  the  clergy, — to  the  continual  struggles  between 
the  different  constituted  bodies, — to  these  enterprises  carried 
on  by  the  mass  of  the  nobles  against  the  depositaries  of 
power, — to  all  those  projects  of  innovation,  which  always 
ended  by  a  stroke  of  state  policy ;  we  must  add  a  cause  not 
less  fitted  to  spread  contempt  for  ancient  doctrines ;  this  was 
the  excess  of  corruption. 

"  That  freedom  of  manners,  which  had  been  long  boasted 
of  as  the  principal  charm  of  Venetian  society,  had  de- 
generated into  scandalous  licentiousness ;  the  tie  of  marriage 
was  less  sacred  in  that  Catholic  country,  than  among  those 
nations  where  the  laws  and  religion  admit  of  its  being  dis- 
solved. Because  they  could  not  break  the  contract,  they 
feigned  that  it  had  not  existed ;  and  the  ground  of  nullity, 
immodestly  alleged  by  the  married  pair,  was  admitted  with 
equal  facility  by  priests  and  magistrates,  ahke  corrupt. 
These  divorces,  veiled  under  another  name,  became  so  fre- 
quent, that  the  most  important  act  of  civil  society  was  dis- 
covered to  be  amenable  to  a  tribunal  of  exceptions ;  and  to 
reitrain  the  open  scandal  of  such  proceedings  became  the 


office  of  the  police.  In  1782  the  council  of  ten  decreed, 
that  every  woman  who  should  sue  for  a  dissolution  of  her 
marriage  should  be  compelled  to  await  the  decision  of  the 
judges  in  some  convent,  to  be  named  by  the  court  *.  Soon 
afterwards  the  same  council  summoned  all  causes  of  that 
nature  before  itself  f.  This  infringement  on  ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction  having  occasioned  someremonstrancefrom  Rome, 
the  council  retained  only  the  right  of  rejecting  the  petition 
of  the  married  persons,  and  consented  to  refer  such  causes 
to  the  holy  office  as  it  should  not  previously  have  rejected  J, 
'*  There  was  a  moment  in  which,  doubtless,  the  destruction 
of  private  fortunes,  the  ruin  of  youth,  the  domestic  discord 
occasioned  by  these  abuses,  determined  the  government  to 
depart  from  its  established  maxims  concerning  the  freedom  of 
manners  allowed  the  subject.  All  the  courtisans  were  banished 
from  Venice ;  but  their  absence  was  not  enough  to  reclaim  and 
bring  back  good  morals  to  a  whole  people  brought  up  in 
the  most  scandalous  licentiousness.  Depravity  reached  the 
very  bosoms  of  private  families,  and  even  into  the  cloister ; 
and  they  found  themselves  obliged  to  recal,  and  even  to  in- 
demnify §  women  who  sometimes  gained  possession  of  im- 
portant secrets,  and  who  might  be  usefully  employed  in  the 
ruin  of  men  whose  fortunes  might  have  rendered  them 
dangerous.  Since  that  time  licentiousness  has  gone  on  in- 
creasing, and  we  have  seen  mothers,  not  only  selling  the 
innocence  of  their  daughters,  but  selling  it  by  a  contract, 
authenticated  by  the  signature  of  a  public  officer,  and  the 

•  Correspondence  of  M.  Schlick,  French  charge  d'affaires.  Despatch  of 
24th  August  1782. 

•j-  Ibid.  Despatch,  3 1  st  August. 

I  Ibid.  Despatch,  3d  September  1785. 

§  The  decree  for  their  recal  designates  them  as  nustrc  benemerite  meretrici. 
A  fund  and  some  houses  called  Case  rampant  were  assigned  to  them  j  hence 
the  opprobrious  appellation  of  Carampanc, 


performance  of  which  was  secured  by  the  protection  of  the 
laws  *. 

"  The  parlours  of  the  convents  of  noble  ladies,  and  the 
houses  of  the  courtisans,  though  the  police  carefully  kept 
up  a  number  of  spies  about  them,  were  the  only  assemblies 
for  society  in  Venice ;  and  in  these  two  places,  so  different 
from  each  pther,  there  was  equal  freedom.  Music,  col- 
lations, gallantry,  were  not  more  forbidden  in  the  parlours 
than  at  the  casinos.  There  were  a  number  of  casinos  for 
the  purpose  of  public  assemblies,  where  gaming  was  the 
principal  pursuit  of  the  company.  It  was  a  strange  sight  to 
see  persons  of  either  sex  masked,  or  grave  in  their  magis- 
terial robes,  round  a  table,  invoking  chance,  and  giving  way 
at  one  instant  to  the  agonies  of  despair,  at  the  next  to  the 
illusions  of  hope,  and  that  without  uttering  a  single  word. 

"  The  rich  had  private  casinos,  but  they  lived  incognito 
in  them ;  and  the  wives  whom  they  abandoned  found  com- 
pensation in  the  liberty  they  enjoyed.  The  corruption  of 
morals  had  deprived  them  of  their  empire.  We  have  just 
reviewed  the  whole  history  of  Venice,  and  we  have  not  once 
seen  them  exercise  the  slightest  influence." 

•  Mayer,  Description  of  Venice,  vol.  ii.  and  M.  Archeiiholtz,  Picture  «f 
Itali/f  vol.  i.  ch.  2. 

From  the  present  decay  and  degeneracy  of  Venice  under 
the  Barbarians,  there  are  some  honourable  individual  ex- 
ceptions. There  is  Pasqualigo,  the  last,  and,  alas !  post- 
humous son  of  the  marriage  of  the  Doges  with  the  Adriatic, 
who  fought  his  frigate  with  far  greater  gallantry  than  any  of 
his  French  coadjutors  in  the  memorable  action  off  Lissa.     I 


came  home  in  the  squadron  with  the  prizes  in  1811,  and 
recollect  to  have  heard  Sir  William  Hoste,  and  the  other 
officers  engaged  in  that  glorious  conflict,  speak  in  the  highest 
terms  of  Pasqualigo*s  behaviour.  There  is  the  Abbate 
Morelli.  There  is  Alvise  Querini,  who,  after  a  long  and 
honourable  diplomatic  career,  finds  some  consolation  for  the 
wrongs  of  his  country,  in  the  pursuits  of  literature  with  his 
nephew,  Vittor  Benzon,  the  son  of  the  celebrated  beauty, 
the  heroine  of"  La  Biondina  in  Gondoletta."  There  are  the 
patrician  poet  Morosini,  and  the  poet  Lamberti,  the  author 
of  the  "  Biondina,"  &c.  and  many  other  estimable  pro- 
ductions; and,  not  least  in  an  Englishman's  estimation, 
Madame  Michelli,  the  translator  of  Shakspeare.  There  are 
the  young  Dandolo  and  the  improvvisatore  Carrer,  and  Giu- 
seppe Albrizzi,  the  accomplished  son  of  an  accomplished 
mother.  There  is  Aglietti,  and  were  there  nothing  else, 
there  is  the  immortality  of  Canova.  Cicognara,  Mustoxithi, 
Bucati,  &c.  &c.  I  do  not  reckon,  because  the  one  is  a 
Greek,  and  the  others  were  born  at  least  a  hundred  miles 
off,  which,  throughout  Italy,  constitutes,  if  not  a  foreigner, 
at  least  a  stranger  (forestierej. 

DOGE  OF  VENICE.  20,'i 


Exirait  de  VOuvrage  Histoire  Litteraire  d' Italic,  par  P.  L. 
Gingueniy  Tom.  ix.  Chap,  xxxvi.  p.  144.  Edition  de 

"  II  y  en  a  une  fort  singuliere  sur  Venise :  *  Si  tu  ne 
changes  pas,'  dit-il  a  cette  republique  altiere,  *  ta  Hberte 
<jui  dcja  s'  enfuit,  ne  comptera  pas  un  siecle  apres  la  mil- 
lieme  annee.' 

"  En  faisant  remonter  Tepoque  de  la  liberte  Venitienne 
jusqu'a  I'etabHssement  du  gouvernement  sous  le  quel  la  re- 
publique a  fleuri,  on  trouvera  que  I'election  du  premier  Doge 
date  de  697>  et  si  Ton  y  ajoute  un  siecle  apres  mille,  c'est  a 
dire  onze  cents  ans,  on  trouvera  encore  que  le  sens  de  la 
prediction  est  litteralement  celui-ci :  '  Ta  liberte  ne  comptera 
pas  jusqu'a  I'an  1797.*  Rappelez-vous  maintenant  que 
Venise  a  cesse  d'  ^tre  libre  en  I'an  cinq  de  la  republique 
Fran9aise,  ou  en  1796  ;  vous  verrez  qu'il  n'y  eut  jamais  de 
prediction  plus  precise  et  plus  ponctuellement  suivie  de 
I'effet.  Vous  noterez  done  comme  trds-remarquables  ces 
trois  vers  de  I'Alamanni,  adresscs  a  Venise,  que  personne 
pourtant  n'a  remarqucs : 

*  Se  non  cangi  pensier,  run  secol  solo 
Non  conterd,  sopra  '/  millesimo  anno 
Tua  liberthy  che  vafuggendo  a  volo.' 

Bien  des  propheties  ont  passe  pour  telles,  et  bien  des  gens 
ont  etc  appeles  prophctes  a  meilleur  marche." 



Extract  from  the  Literary  History  of  Italy,  hy  P.  L.  Ginguenk, 
vol.  ix.  p.  144-.     Paris  Edit.  1819. 

*'  There  is  one  very  singular  prophecy  concerning  Venice: 
i  If  thou  dost  not  change,*  it  says  to  that  proud  republic, 
<  thy  liberty,  which  is  already  on  the  wing,  will  not  reckon 
a  century  more  than  the  thousandth  year.' 

"  If  we  carry  back  the  epocha  of  Venetian  freedom  to  the 
establishment  of  the  government  under  which  the  republic 
flourished,  we  shall  find  that  the  date  of  the  election  of  the 
first  Doge  is  697 ;  and  if  we  add  one  century  to  a  thousand, 
that  is,  eleven  hundred  years,  we  shall  find  the  sense  of  the 
prediction  to  be  literally  this :  *  Thy  liberty  will  not  last  till 
1797.*     Recollect  that  Venice  ceased  to  be  free  in  the  year 
1796,  the  fifth  year  of  the  French  republic;  and  you  will 
perceive,  that  there  never  was  prediction  more  pointed,  or 
more  exactly  followed  by  the  event.     You  will,  therefore, 
note  as  very  remarkable  the  three  lines  of  Alamanni,  ad- 
dressed to  Venice,  which,  however,  no  one  has  pointed  out : 
'  Se  non  cangi  pensier,  Vun  secol  solo 
Nan  contera  sopra  7  millesimo  anno 
Tua  liberta,  chi  vafuggendo  a  voio.' 

Many  prophecies  have  passed  for  such,  and  many  men  have 
been  called  prophets  for  much  less." 

If  the  Doge's  prophecy  seem  remarkable,  look  to  the  above,  made  by 
Alamanni  two  hundred  and  seventy  years  ago. 


The  author  of  "  Sketches  Descriptive  of  Italy,"  «S:c.  one 
of  the  hundred  tours  lately  published,  is  extremely  anxious 
to  disclaim  a  possible  charge  of  plagiarism  from  <*  Childe 
Harold"  and  "  Beppo."  See  p.  159,  vol.  iv.  He  adds,  that 
still  less  could  this  presumed  coincidence  arise  from  "  my 
conversation,"  as  he  had  ^^  repeatedly  declined  an  introduction 
to  me  while  in  Italy.'* 

Who  this  person  may  be  I  know  not ;  but  he  must  have 
been  deceived  by  all  or  any  of  those  who  "  repeatedly 
offered  to  introduce"  him,  as  I  have  invariably  refused  to 
receive  any  English  with  whom  I  was  not  previously  ac- 
quainted, even  when  they  had  letters  from  England.  If  the 
whole  assertion  is  not  an  invention,  I  request  this  person  not 
to  sit  down  with  the  notion  that  he  could  have  been  in- 
troduced, since  there  has  been  nothing  I  have  so  carefully 
avoided  as  any  kind  of  intercourse  with  his  countrymen, — 
excepting  the  very  £ev^  who  were  a  considerable  time  resident 
in  Venice,  or  had  been  of  my  previous  acquaintance.  Who- 
ever made  him  any  such  offer  was  possessed  of  impudence 
equal  to  that  of  making  such  an  assertion  without  having  had 
it.  The  fact  is,  that  I  hold  in  utter  abhorrence  any  contact 
with  the  travelling  English,  as  my  friend  the  Consul  General 
Hoppner,  and  the  Countess  Benzoni,  (in  whose  house  the 
Conversazione  mostly  frequented  by  them  is  held),  could 
amply  testify,  were  it  worth  while.  I  was  persecuted  by 
these  tourists  even  to  my  riding  ground  at  Lido,  and  reduced 
to  the  most  disagreeable  circuits  to  avoid  them.  At  Madame 
Benzoni's  I  repeatedly  refused  to  be  introduced  to  them ; — 
of  a  thousand  such  presentations  pressed  upon  me,  I  accepted 
two,  and  both  were  to  Irish  women. 

I  should  hardly  have  descended  to  speak  of  such  trifles 
publicly,  if  the  impudence  of  this  "  sketcher"  had  not  forced 
me  to  a  refutation  of  a  disingenuous  and  gratuitously  im- 
pertinent assertion ; — so  meant  to  be,  for  what  could  it  im- 

port  to  the  reader  to  be  told  that  the  author  "  had  repeatedly 
declined  an  introduction,"  even  had  it  been  true,  which,  for 
the  reasons  I  have  above  given,  is  scarcely  possible.  Ex- 
cept Lords  Lansdowne,  Jersey,  and  Lauderdale;  Messrs. 
Scott,  Hammond,  Sir  Humphrey  Davy,  the  late  M.  Lewis, 
W.  Bankes,  Mr.  Hoppner,  Thomas  Moore,  Lord  Kinnaird, 
his  brother,  Mr.  Joy,  and  Mr.  Hobhouse,  I  do  not  recollect 
to  have  exchanged  a  word  with  another  Englishman  since 
I  left  their  country ;  and  almost  all  these  I  had  known  before. 
The  others, — and  God  knows  there  were  some  hundreds, 
who  bored  me  with  letters  or  visits,  I  refused  to  have  any 
communication  with,  and  shall  be  proud  and  happy  when 
that  wish  becomes  mutual. 



"  'Tis  the  sunset  of  life  gives  me  mystical  lore, 
"  And  coming  events  cast  their  shadows  before.'* 



LADY !  if  for  the  cold  and  cloudy  clime 

Where  I  was  born,  but  where  I  would  not  die, 

Of  the  great  Poet-Sire  of  Italy 
I  dare  to  build  the  imitative  rhyme, 
Harsh  Runic  copy  of  the  South's  sublime, 

Thou  art  the  cause ;  and  howsoever  I 

Fall  short  of  his  immortal  harmony. 
Thy  gentle  heart  will  pardon  me  the  crime. 

Thou,  in  the  pride  of  Beauty  and  of  Youth, 

Spak'st ;  and  for  thee  to  speak  and  be  obey'd 
Are  one ;  but  only  in  the  sunny  South 

Such  sounds  are  utter'd,  and  such  charms  displayed. 
So  sweet  a  language  from  so  fair  a  mouth — 

Ah !  to  what  effort  would  it  not  persuade  ? 

Ravenna^  June  21,  1819. 



In  the  course  of  a  visit  to  the  city  of  Ravenna  in  the 
summer  of  1819,-  it  was  suggested  to  the  author  that 
having  composed  something  on  the  subject  of  Tasso*s 
confinement,  he  should  do  the  same  on  Dante's  exile 
— the  tomb  of  the  poet  forming  one  of  the  principal 
objects  of  interest  in  that  city,  both  to  the  native  and 
to  the  stranger. 


"  On  this  hint  I  spake,"  and  the  result  has  been 
the  following  four  cantos,  in  terza  rima,  now  offered 
to  the  reader.  If  they  are  understood  and  approved, 
it  is  my  purpose  to  continue  the  poem  in  various  other 
cantos  to  its  natural  conclusion  in  the  present  age.  The 
reader  is  requested  to  suppose  that  Dante  addresses 
him  in  the  interval  between  the  conclusion  of  the 
Divina  Commedia  and  his  death,  and  shortly  before 
the  latter  event,  foretelling  the  fortunes  of  Italy  in 
general  in  the  ensuing  centuries.     In  adopting  this 

214  PREFACE. 

plan  I  have  had  in  my  mind  the  Cassandra  of  Lyco- 
phron,  and  the  Prophecy  of  Nereus  by  Horace,  as 
well  as  the  Prophecies  of  Holy  Writ.  The  measure 
adopted  is  the  terza  rima  of  Dante,  which  I  am  not 
aware  to  have  seen  hitherto  tried  in  our  language, 
except  it  may  be  by  Mr.  Hayley,  of  whose  translation 
I  never  saw  but  one  extract,  quoted  in  the  notes  to 
Caliph  Vathek ;  so  that — if  I  do  not  err — this  poem 
may  be  considered  as  a  metrical  experiment.  The 
cantos  are  short,  and  about  the  same  length  of  those 
of  the  poet  whose  name  I  have  borrowed,  and  most 
probably  taken  in  vain. 

Amongst  the  inconveniences  of  authors  in  the  pre- 
sent day,  it  is  difficult  for  any  who  have  a  name,  good 
or  bad,  to  escape  translation.  I  have  had  the  fortune 
to  see  the  fourth  canto  of  Childe  Harold  translated 
into  Italian  versi  sciolti — that  is,  a  poem  written  in 
the  Spenserean  stanza  into  hlarik  verse,  without  regard 
to  the  natural  divisions  of  the  stanza,  or  of  the  sense. 
If  the  present  poem,  being  on  a  national  topic,  should 
chance  to  undergo  the  same  fate,  I  would  request  the 
Italian  reader  to  remember  that  when  I  have  failed 
in  the  imitation  of  his  great  *^  Padre  Alighier,"  I  have 

PREFACE.  215 

failed  in  imitating  that  which  all  study  and  few  un- 
derstand, since  to  this  very  day  it  is  not  yet  settled 
what  was  the  meaning  of  the  allegory  in  the  first 
canto  of  the  Inferno,  unless  Count  Marchetti's  in- 
genious and  probable  conjecture  may  be  considered 
as  having  decided  the  question. 

He  may  also  pardon  my  failure  the  more,  as  I  am 
not  quite  siure  that  he  would  be  pleased  with  my 
success,  since  the  Italians,  with  a  pardonable  nation- 
ality, are  particularly  jealous  of  all  that  is  left  them  as 
a  nation — their  literature ;  and  in  the  present  bitter- 
ness of  the  classic  and  romantic  war,  are  but  ill  disposed 
to  permit  a  foreigner  even  to  approve  or  imitate  them 
without  finding  some  fault  with  his  ultramontane  pre- 
sumption. I  can  easily  enter  into  all  this,  knowing 
what  would  be  thought  in  England  of  an  Italian 
imitator  of  Milton,  or  if  a  translation  of  Monti,  or 
Pindemonte,  or  Arici,  should  be  held  up  to  the  rising 
generation  as  a  model  for  their  future  poetical  essays. 
But  I  perceive  that  I  am  deviating  into  an  address  to 
the  Italian  reader,  when  my  business  is  with  the 
English  one,  and  be  they  few  or  many,  I  must  take 
my  leave  of  both. 




ONCE  more  in  man*s  frail  world !  which  I  had  left 
So  long  that  'twas  forgotten ;  and  I  feel 
The  weight  of  clay  again, — too  soon  bereft 

Of  the  immortal  vision  which  could  heal 
My  earthly  sorrows,  and  to  God's  own  skies 
Lift  me  from  that  deep  gulf  without  repeal, 

Where  late  my  ears  nmg  with  the  damned  cries 
Of  souls  in  hopeless  bale ;  and  from  that  place 
Of  lesser  torment,  whence  men  may  arise 

Pure  from  the  fire  to  join  the  angehc  race ;  10 

Midst  whom  my  own  bright  Beatrice  bless'd  (l) 
My  spirit  with  her  light ;  and  to  the  base 

218  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  1. 

Of  the  Eternal  Triad !  first,  last,  best, 

Mysterious,  three,  sole,  infinite,  great  God ! 

Soul  universal !  led  the  mortal  guest, 
Unblasted  by  the  glory,  though  he  trod 

From  star  to  star  to  reach  the  almighty  throne. 

Oh  Beatrice !  whose  sweet  limbs  the  sod 
So  long  hath  prest,  and  the  cold  marble  stone. 

Thou  sole  pure  seraph  of  my  earliest  love,  20 

Love  so  ineffable,  and  so  alone. 
That  nought  on  earth  could  more  my  bosom  move, 

And  meeting  thee  in  heaven  was  but  to  meet 

That  without  which  my  soul,  like  the  arkless  dove. 
Had  wander'd  still  in  search  of,  nor  her  feet 

Relieved  her  wing  till  found ;  without  thy  light 

My  Paradise  had  still  been  incomplete.  (2) 
Since  my  tenth  sim  gave  summer  to  my  sight 

Thou  wert  my  life,  the  essence  of  my  thought. 

Loved  ere  I  knew  the  name  of  love,  and  bright       30 
Still  in  these  dim  old  eyes,  now  overwrought 

With  the  world's  war,  and  years,  and  banishment. 

Canto  1.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  219 

And  tears  for  thee,  by  other  woes  untaught ; 
For  mine  is  not  a  nature  to  be  bent 

By  tyrannous  faction,  and  the  brawHng  crowd ; 

And  though  the  long,  long  conflict  hath  been  spent 
In  vain,  and  never  more,  save  when  the  cloud 

Which  overhangs  the  Apennine,  my  mind's  eye 

Pierces  to  fancy  Florence,  once  so  proud 
Of  me,  can  I  return,  though  but  to  die,  40 

Unto  my  native  soil,  they  have  not  yet 

Quench'd  the  old  exile's  spirit,  stern  and  high. 
But  the  sun,  though  not  overcast,  must  set. 

And  the  night  cometh ;  I  am  old  in  days. 

And  deeds,  and  contemplation,  and  have  met 
Destruction  face  to  face  in  all  his  ways. 

The  world  hath  left  me,  what  it  found  me,  pure. 

And  if  I  have  not  gather 'd  yet  its  praise, 
I  sought  it  not  by  any  baser  lure ; 

Man  wrongs,  and  Time  avenges,  and  my  name       50 

May  form  a  monument  not  all  obscure. 
Though  such  was  not  my  ambition's  end  or  aim. 

220  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  1. 

To  add  to  the  vain-glorious  list  of  those 
Who  dabble  in  the  pettiness  of  fame, 

And  make  men's  fickle  breath  the  wind  that  blows 
Their  sail,  and  deem  it  glory  to  be  class'd 
With  conquerors,  and  virtue's  other  foes, 

In  bloody  chronicles  of  ages  past. 

I  would  have  had  my  Florence  great  and  free :  (3) 
Oh  Florence !  Florence !  unto  me  thou  wast  60 

Like  that  Jerusalem  which  the  Almighty  He 

Wept  over,  "  but  thou  wouldst  not ;"  as  the  bird 
Gathers  its  young,  I  would  have  gather'd  thee 

Beneath  a  parent  pinion,  hadst  thou  heard 
My  voice ;  but  as  the  adder,  deaf  and  fierce, 
Against  the  breast  that  cherish'd  thee  was  stirr'd 

Thy  venom,  and  my  state  thou  didst  amerce. 
And  doom  this  body  forfeit  to  the  fire. 
Alas  !  how  bitter  is  his  country's  curse 

To  him  who^or  that  country  would  expire,  70 

But  did  not  merit  to  expire  bi/  her. 
And  loves  her,  loves  her  even  in  her  ire. 

Canto  1.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  221 

The  day  may  come  when  she  will  cease  to  err, 
The  day  may  come  she  would  be  proud  to  have 
The  dust  she  dooms  to  scatter,  and  transfer  (4) 

Of  hhn,  whom  she  denied  a  home,  the  grave. 
But  this  shall  not  be  granted ;  let  my  dust 
Lie  where  it  falls ;  nor  shall  the  soil  which  gave 

Me  breath,  but  in  her  sudden  fury  thrust 
Me  forth  to  breathe  elsewhere,  so  reassume  80 

My  indignant  bones,  because  her  angry  gust 

Forsooth  is  over,  and  repeal'd  her  doom ; 

No, — she  denied  me  what  was  mine — my  roof. 
And  shall  not  have  what  is  not  hers — my  tomb. 

Too  long  her  armed  wrath'hath  kept  aloof 

The  breast  which  would  have  bled  for  her,  the  heart 
That  beat,  the  mind  that  was  temptation  proof. 

The  man  who  fought,  toil'd,  travell'd,  and  each  part 
Of  a  true  citizen  fulfiU'd,  and  saw 
For  his  reward  the  Guelfs  ascendant  art  90 

Pass  his  destruction  even  into  a  law. 

These  things  are  not  made  for  forgetfulness. 

PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  1. 

Florence  shall  be  forgotten  first ;  too  raw 
The  wound,  too  deep  the  wrong,  and  the  distress 

Of  such  endurance  too  prolong'd  to  make 

My  pardon  greater,  her  injustice  less. 
Though  late  repented ;  yet — yet  for  her  sake 

I  feel  some  fonder  yearnings,  and  for  thine. 

My  own  Beatrice,  I  would  hardly  take 
Vengeance  upon  the  land  which  once  was  mine,        100 

And  still  is  hallow'd  by  thy  dust's  return, 

Which  would  protect  the  murderess  like  a  shrine. 
And  save  ten  thousand  foes  by  thy  sole  urn. 

Though,  Uke  old  Marius  from  Minturnae's  marsh 

And  Carthage  ruins,  my  lone  breast  may  bum 
At  times  with  evil  feeUngs  hot  and  harsh. 

And  sometimes  the  last  pangs  of  a  vile  foe 

Writhe  in  a  dream  before  me,  and  o'erarch 
My  brow  with  hopes  of  triumph, — let  them  go ! 

Such  are  the  last  infirmities  of  those  110 

Wlio  long  have  suffer'd  more  than  mortal  woe. 
And  yet  being  mortal  still,  have  no  repose 

Canto  1.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  223 

But  on  the  pillow  of  Revenge — Revenge, 
"Who  sleeps  to  dream  of  blood,  and  waking  glows 
With  the  oft-baffled,  slakeless  thirst  of  change, 
When  we  shall  mount  again,  and  they  that  trod 
Be  trampled  on,  while  Death  and  Ate  range 

O'er  humbled  heads  and  sever'd  necks Great  God ! 

Take  these  thoughts  from  me — to  thy  hands  I  yield 
My  many  wrongs,  and  thine  almighty  rod  120 

Will  fall  on  those  who  smote  me, — be  my  shield ! 
As  thou  hast  been  in  peril,  and  in  pain. 
In  turbulent  cities,  and  the  tented  field — 
In  toil,  and  many  troubles  borne  in  vain 
For  Florence. — I  appeal  from  her  to  Thee ! 
Thee,  whom  I  late  saw  in  thy  loftiest  reign. 
Even  in  that  glorious  vision,  which  to  see 
And  live  was  never  granted  until  now, 
And  yet  thou  hast  pei-mitted  this  to  me. 
Alas !  with  what  a  weight  upon  my  brow  130 

The  sense  of  earth  and  earthly  things  come  back. 
Corrosive  passions,  feelings  dull  and  low, 

^24  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  I. 

The  heart's  quick  throb  upon  the  mental  rack, 
Long  day,  and  dreary  night ;  the  retrospect 
Of  half  a  century  bloody  and  black. 
And  the  frail  few  years  I  may  yet  expect 

Hoary  and  hopeless,  but  less  hard  to  bear. 

For  I  have  been  too  long  and  deeply  wreck'd 
On  the  lone  rock  of  desolate  Despair 

To  lift  my  eyes  more  to  the  passing  sail  140 

Which  shuns  that  reef  so  horrible  and  bare ; 
Nor  raise  my  voice — for  who  would  heed  my  wail  ? 

I  am  not  of  this  people,  nor  this  age, 

And  yet  my  harpings  will  unfold  a  tale 
Wliich  shall  preserve  these  times  when  not  a  page 

Of  their  perturbed  annals  could  attract 

An  eye  to  gaze  upon  their  civil  rage 
Did  not  my  verse  embalm  full  many  an  act 

Worthless  as  they  who  wrought  it :  'tis  the  doom 

Of  spirits  of  my  order  to  be  rack*d  150 

In  life,  to  wear  their  hearts  out,  and  consume 

Their  days  in  endless  strife,  and  die  alone ; 

Canto  1.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  225 

Then  future  thousands  crowd  around  their  tomb, 
And  pilgrims  come  from  climes  where  they  have  known 

The  name  of  him — ^who  now  is  but  a  name, 

And  wasting  homage  o'er  the  sullen  stone. 
Spread  his — by  him  unheard,  unheeded — fame ; 

And  mine  at  least  hath  cost  me  dear :  to  die 

Is  nothing ;  but  to  wither  thus — to  tame 
My  mind  down  from  its  own  infinity —  160 

To  live  in  narrow  ways  with  httle  men, 

A  common  sight  to  every  common  eye, 
A  wanderer,  while  even  wolves  can  find  a  den, 

Ripp'd  from  all  kindred,  from  all  home,  all  things 

That  make  communion  sweet,  and  soften  pain — 
To  feel  me  in  the  solitude  of  kings 

Without  the  power  that  makes  them  bear  a  crown — 

To  envy  every  dove  his  nest  and  wings 
Which  waft  him  where  the  Apennine  looks  down 

On  Amo,  till  he  perches,  it  may  be,  170 

Within  my  all  inexorable  town. 
Where  yet  my  boys  are,  and  that  fatal  she,  (5) 


226  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  1. 

Their  mother,  the  cold  partner  who  hath  brought 

Destruction  for  a  dowry — this  to  see 
And  feel,  and  know  without  repair,  hath  taught 

A  bitter  lesson ;  but  it  leaves  me  free  l 

I  have  not  vilely  found,  nor  basely  sought, 
They  made  an  Exile — not  a  slave  of  me. 




The  Spirit  of  the  fervent  days  of  Old, 

When  words  were  things  that  came  to  pass,  and  thought 
Flash'd  o'er  the  future,  bidding  men  behold 

Their  children's  children's  doom  already  brought 
Forth  from  the  abyss  of  time  which  is  to  be, 
The  chaos  of  events,  where  lie  half-wrought 

Shapes  that  must  undergo  mortaUty ; 
What  the  great  Seers  of  Israel  wore  within. 
That  spirit  was  on  them,  and  is  on  me. 

And  if,  Cassandra-like,  amidst  the  din  10 

Of  conflict  none  will  hear,  or  hearing  heed 
This  voice  from  out  the  Wilderness,  the  sin 

228  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  2. 

Be  theirs,  and  my  own  feelings  be  my  meed, 

The  only  guerdon  I  have  ever  known. 

Hast  thou  not  bled  ?  and  hast  thou  still  to  bleed, 
Italia  ?  Ah !  to  me  such  things,  foreshown 

With  dim  sepulchral  Hght,  bid  me  forget 

In  thine  irreparable  wrongs  my  own ; 
We  can  have  but  one  country,  and  even  yet 

Thou'rt  mine — my  bones  shall  be  within  thy  breast. 

My  soul  within  thy  language,  which  once  set  21 

With  our  old  Roman  sway  in  the  wide  West ; 

But  I  will  make  another  tongue  arise 

As  lofty  and  more  sweet,  in  which  exprest 
The  hero's  ardour,  or  the  lover's  sighs. 

Shall  find  alike  such  sounds  for  every  theme 

That  every  word,  as  brilliant  as  thy  skies. 
Shall  realize  a  poet's  proudest  dream. 

And  make  thee  Europe's  nightingale  of  song ; 

So  that  all  present  speech  to  thine  shall  seem  30 

The  note  of  meaner  birds,  and  every  tongue 

Confess  its  barbarism  when  compared  with  thine. 

Cantos.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  229 

This  shalt  thou  owe  to  him  thou  didst  so  wrong, 
Thy  Tuscan  Bard,  the  banish'd  Ghibelline. 

Woe !  woe !  the  veil  of  coming  centuries 

Is  rent, — a  thousand  years  which  yet  supine 
Lie  like  the  ocean  waves  ere  winds  arise, 

Heaving  in  dark  and  sullen  undulation, 

Float  from  eternity  into  these  eyes ;  39 

The  storms  yet  sleep,  the  clouds  still  keep  their  station, 

The  unborn  earthquake  yet  is  in  the  womb, 

The  bloody  chaos  yet  expects  creation, 
But  all  things  are  disposing  for  thy  doom ; 

The  elements  await  but  for  the  word, 

"Let  there  be  darkness!"  and  thou  grow'st  a  tomb! 
Yes !  thou,  so  beautiful,  shalt  feel  the  sword, 

Thou,  Italy !  so  fair  that  Paradise, 

Revived  in  thee,  blooms  forth  to  man  restored : 
Ah !  must  the  sons  of  Adam  lose  it  twice  ? 

Thou,  Italy !  whose  ever  golden  fields,  50 

Plough'd  by  the  sunbeams  solely,  would  suffice 
For  the  world's  granary ;  thou,  whose  sky  heaven  gilds 

230  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  2. 

With  brighter  stars,  and  robes  with  deeper  blue ; 
Thou,  in  whose  pleasant  places  Summer  builds 

Her  palace,  in  whose  cradle  Empire  grew, 
And  form'd  the  Eternal  City's  ornaments 
From  spoils  of  kings  whom  freemen  overthrew ; 

Birthplace  of  heroes,  sanctuary  of  saints, 
Where  earthly  first,  then  heavenly  glory  made 
Her  home ;  thou,  all  which  fondest  fancy  paints,  -  60 

And  finds  her  prior  vision  but  portray'd 

In  feeble  colours,  when  the  eye — from  the  Alp 
Of  horrid  snow,  and  rock,  and  shaggy  shade 

Of  desert-loving  pine,  whose  emerald  scalp 
Nods  to  the  storm — dilates  and  dotes  o'er  thee. 
And  wistfully  implores,  as  'twere,  for  help 

To  see  thy  sunny  fields,  my  Italy, 

Nearer  and  nearer  yet,  and  dearer  still 

The  more  approach'd,  and  dearest  were  they  free. 

Thou — Thou  must  wither  to  each  tyrant's  will:  70 

The  Goth  hath  been, — the  German,  Frank,  and  Hun 
Are  yet  to  come, — and  on  the  imperial  hill 

Canto  2.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  231 

Ruin,  already  proud  of  the  deeds  done 

By  the  old  barbarians,  there  awaits  the  new. 
Throned  on  the  Palatine,  while  lost  and  won 

Rome  at  her  feet  lies  bleeding ;  and  the  hue   , 
Of  human  sacrifice  and  Roman  slaughter 
Troubles  the  clotted  air,  of  late  so  blue. 

And  deepens  into  red  the  saflfron  water 

Of  Tiber,  thick  with  dead ;  the  helpless  priest,       80 
And  still  more  helpless  nor  less  holy  daughter, 

Vow'd  to  their  God,  have  shrieking  fled,  and  ceased 
Their  ministry :  the  nations  take  their  prey, 
Iberian,  Almain,  Lombard,  and  the  beast 

And  bird,  wolf,  vulture,  more  humane  than  they 
Are ;  these  but  gorge  the  flesh  and  lap  the  gore 
Of  the  departed,  and  then  go  their  way ; 

But  those,  the  human  savages,  explore 
All  paths  of  torture,  and  insatiate  yet. 
With  Ugolino  hunger  prowl  for  more.  90 

Nine  moons  shall  rise  o*er  scenes  like  this  and  set ;  (^ 
The  chiefless  army  of  the  dead,  which  late 

2S2  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  2. 

Beneath  the  traitor  Prince's  banner  met, 
Hath  left  its  leader's  ashes  at  the  gate ; 

Had  but  the  royal  Rebel  lived,  perchance 

Thou  hadst  been  spared,  but  his  involved  thy  fate. 
Oh !  Rome,  the  spoiler  or  the  spoil  of  France, 

From  Brennus  to  the  Bourbon,  never,  never 

Shall  foreign  standard  to  thy  walls  advance 
But  Tiber  shall  become  a  mournful  river.  100 

Oh !  when  the  strangers  pass  the  Alps  and  Po, 

Crush  them,  ye  rocks !  floods,  whelm  them,  and  for  ever ! 
Why  sleep  the  idle  avalanches  so. 

To  topple  on  the  lonely  pilgrim's  head  ? 

Why  doth  Eridanus  but  overflow 
The  peasant's  harvest  from  his  turbid  bed  ? 

Were  not  each  barbarous  horde  a  nobler  prey  ? 

Over  Cambyses'  host  the  desert  spread 
Her  sandy  ocean,  and  the  sea  waves'  sway 

Roll'd  over  Pharaoh  and  his  thousands, — why,      110 

Mountains  and  waters,  do  ye  not  as  they  ? 


And  you,  ye  men !  Romans,  who  dare  not  die. 

Canto  2.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  233 

Sons  of  the  conquerors  who  overthrew 

Those  who  overthrew  proud  Xerxes,  where  yet  lie 

The  dead  whose  tomb  ObUvion  never  knew, 
Are  the  Alps  weaker  than  Thermopylae  ? 
Their  passes  more  alluring  to  the  view 

Of  an  invader  ?  is  it  they,  or  ye. 

That  to  each  host  the  mountain-gate  unbar, 
And  leave  the  march  in  peace,  the  passage  free  ? 

Why,  Nature's  self  detains  the  victor's  car  121 

And  makes  your  land  impregnable,  if  earth 
Could  be  so ;  but  alone  she  will  not  war. 

Yet  aids  the  warrior  worthy  of  his  birth 

In  a  soil  where  the  mothers  bring  forth  men : 
Not  so  with  those  whose  souls  are  Httle  worth ; 

For  them  no  fortress  can  avail, — the  den 
Of  the  poor  reptile  which  preserves  its  sting 
Is  more  secure  than  walls  of  adamant,  when 

The  hearts  of  those  within  are  quivering.  130 

Are  ye  not  brave  ?  Yes,  yet  the  Ausonian  soil 
Hath  hearts,  and  hands,  and  arms,  and  hosts  to  bring 

234  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  2. 

Against  Oppression ;  but  how  vain  the  toil, 
While  still  Division  sows  the  seeds  of  woe 
And  weakness,  till  the  stranger  reaps  the  spoil. 

Oh !  my  own  beauteous  land !  so  long  laid  low. 
So  long  the  grave  of  thy  own  children's  hopes, 
When  there  is  but  required  a  single  blow 

To  break  the  chain,  yet — yet  the  Avenger  stops,       139 
And  Doubt  and  Discord  step  'twixt  thine  and  thee. 
And  join  their  strength  to  that  which  with  thee  copes ; 

What  is  there  wanting  then  to  set  thee  free, 
And  show  thy  beauty  in  its  fullest  light  ? 
To  make  the  Alps  impassable ;  and  we. 

Her  sons,  may  do  this  with  one  deed Unite ! 



CANTO  in. 

From  out  the  mass  of  never  dying  ill, 

The  Plague,  the  Prince,  the  Stranger,  and  the  Sword, 
Vials  of  wrath  but  emptied  to  refill 

And  flow  again,  I  cannot  all  record 

That  crowds  on  my  prophetic  eye :  the  earth 
And  ocean  written  o'er  would  not  afford 

Space  for  the  annal,  yet  it  shall  go  forth ; 

Yes,  all,  though  not  by  human  pen,  is  graven. 
There  where  the  farthest  suns  and  stars  have  birth. 

Spread  like  a  banner  at  the  gate  of  heaven,  10 

^S6  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  3. 

The  bloody  scroll  of  our  millennial  wrongs 

Waves,  and  the  echo  of  our  groans  is  driven 
Athwart  the  sound  of  archangelic  songs. 

And  Italy,  the  martyr'd  nation's  gore. 

Will  not  in  vain  arise  to  where  belongs 
Omnipotence  and  mercy  evermore : 

Like  to  a  harpstring  stricken  by  the  wind. 

The  sound  of  her  lament  shall,  rising  o'er 
The  seraph  voices,  touch  the  Almighty  Mind. 

Meantime  I,  humblest  of  thy  sons,  and  of  20 

Earth's  dust  by  immortality  refined 
To  sense  and  suffering,  though  the  vain  may  scoff, 

And  tyrants  threat,  and  meeker  victims  bow 
-  Before  the  storm  because  its  breath  is  rough, 
To  thee,  my  country !  whom  before,  as  now, 

I  loved  and  love,  devote  the  mournful  lyre 

And  melancholy  gift  high  powers  allow 
To  read  the  future ;  and  if  now  my  fire 

Is  not  as  once  it  shone  o'er  thee,  forgive ! 

Canto  S.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  237 

I  but  foretell  thy  fortunes — then  expire ;  30 

Think  not  that  I  would  look  on  them  and  hve. 

A  spirit  forces  me  to  see  and  speak, 

And  for  my  guerdon  grants  not  to  survive ; 
My  heart  shall  be  pour'd  over  thee  and  break : 

Yet  for  a  moment,  ere  I  must  resume 

Thy  sable  web  of  sorrow,  let  me  take 
Over  the  gleams  that  flash  athwart  thy  gloom 

A  softer  gUmpse ;  some  stars  shine  through  thy  night. 

And  many  meteors,  and  above  thy  tomb 
Leans  sculptured  Beauty,  which  Death  cannot  blight ; 

And  from  thine  ashes  boundless  spirits  rise  41 

To  give  thee  honour,  and  the  earth  delight ; 
Thy  soil  shall  still  be  pregnant  with  the  wise, 

The  gay,  the  learn'd,  the  generous,  and  the  brave. 

Native  to  thee  as  summer  to  thy  skies. 
Conquerors  on  foreign  shores,  and  the  far  wave,  (7) 

Discoverers  of  new  worlds,  which  take  their  name ;  C^) 

For  tliee  alone  they  have  no  arm  to  save, 

238  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  3. 

And  all  thy  recompense  is  in  their  fame, 

A  noble  one  to  them,  but  not  to  thee^ —  50 

Shall  they  be  glorious,  and  thou  still  the  same  ? 

Oh !  more  than  these  illustrious  far  shall  be 
The  being — and  even  yet  he  may  be  born — 
The  mortal  saviour  who  shall  set  thee  free, 

And  see  thy  diadem,  so  changed  and  worn 
By  fresh  barbarians,  on  thy  brow  replaced ; 
And  the  sweet  sun  replenishing  thy  morn. 

Thy  moral  morn,  too  long  with  clouds  defaced 
And  noxious  vapours  from  Avemus  risen, 
Such  as  all  they  must  breathe  who  are  debased       60 

By  servitude,  and  have  the  mind  in  prison. 
Yet  through  this  centuried  eclipse  of  woe 
Some  voices  shall  be  heard,  and  earth  shall  listen ; 

Poets  shall  follow  in  the  path  I  show, 

And  make  it  broader ;  the  same  brilliant  sky 
Which  cheers  the  birds  to  song  shall  bid  them  glow. 

And  raise  their  notes  as  natural  and  high  j 

Canto  3.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  239 

Tuneful  shall  be  their  numbers ;  they  shall  sing 

Many  of  love,  and  some  of  liberty. 
But  few  shall  soar  upon  that  eagle's  wing,  70 

And  look  in  the  sun's  face  with  eagle's  gaze 

All  free  and  fearless  as  the  feather'd  king, 
But  fly  more  near  the  earth ;  how  many  a  phrase 

Sublime  shall  lavish'd  be  on  some  small  prince 

In  all  the  prodigality  of  praise ! 
And  language,  eloquently  false,  evince 

The  harlotry  of  genius,  which,  Uke  beauty, 

Too  oft  forgets  its  own  self-reverence, 
And  looks  on  prostitution  as  a  duty. 

(9)  He  who  once  enters  in  a  tjrrant's  hall  80 

As  guest  is  slave,  his  thoughts  become  a  booty. 
And  the  first  day  which  sees  the  chain  enthral 

A  captive,  sees  his  half  of  manhood  gone —  (^^) 

The  soul's  emasculation  saddens  all 
His  spirit ;  thus  the  Bard  too  near  the  throne 

Quails  from  his  inspiration,  bound  to  please, — 
How  servile  is  the  task  to  please  alone ! 

240  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  3. 

To  smooth  the  verse  to  suit  his  sovereign's  ease 
And  royal  leisure,  nor  too  much  prolong 
Aught  save  his  eulogy,  and  find,  and  seize,  90 

Or  force,  or  forge  fit  argument  of  song ! 

Thus  trammell'd,  thus  condemn'd  to  Flattery's  trebles, 
He  toils  through  all,  still  trembling  to  be  wrong : 

For  fear  some  noble  thoughts,  like  heavenly  rebels. 
Should  rise  up  in  high  treason  to  his  brain, 
He  sings,  as  the  Athenian  spoke,  with  pebbles 

In  's  mouth,  lest  truth  should  stammer  through  his  strain. 
But  out  of  the  long  file  of  sonneteers 
There  shall  be  some  who  will  not  sing  in  vain, 

And  he,  their  prince,  shall  rank  among  my  peers,  (H) 
And  love  shall  be  his  torment ;  but  his  grief         101 
Shall  make  an  immortality  of  tears, 

And  Italy  shall  hail  him  as  the  Chief 
Of  Poet-lovers,  and  his  higher  song 
Of  Freedom  wreathe  him  with  as  green  a  leaf. 

But  in  a  farther  age  shall  rise  along 
The  banks  of  Po,  two  greater  still  than  he ; 

Cawto  S.  prophecy  OF  DANTE.  241 

The  world  which  smiled  on  him  shall  do  them  wrong 

Till  they  are  ashes,  and  repose  with  me. 

The  first  will  make  an  epoch  with  his  lyre,  110 

And  fill  the  earth  with  feats  of  chivalry : 

His  fancy  like  a  rainbow,  and  his  fire. 

Like  that  of  heaven,  immortal,  and  his  thought 
Borne  onward  with  a  wing  that  cannot  tire ; 

Pleasure  shall,  like  a  butterfly  new  caught. 
Flutter  her  lovely  pinions  o'er  his  theme, 
.  And  Art  itself  seem  into  Nature  wrought 

By  the  transparency  of  his  bright  dream. — 
The  second,  of  a  tenderer,  sadder  mood. 
Shall  pour  his  soul  out  o'er  Jerusalem ;  120 

He,  too,  shall  sing  of  arms,  and  christian  blood 

Shed  where  Christ  bled  for  man ;  and  his  high  harp 
Shall,  by  the  willow  over  Jordan's  flood, 

Revive  a  song  of  Sion,  and  the  sharp 
Conflict,  and  final  triumph  of  the  brave 
And  pious,  and  the  strife  of  hell  to  warp 

Their  hearts  from  their  great  purpose,  until  wave 


242  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  3. 

The  red-cross  banners  where  the  first  red  Cross 

Was  crimson'd  from  his  veins  who  died  to  save, 
Shall  be  his  sacred  argument ;  the  loss  130 

Of  years,  of  favour,  freedom,  even  of  fame 

Contested  for  a  time,  while  the  smooth  gloss 
Of  courts  would  slide  o*er  his  forgotten  name. 

And  call  captivity  a  kindness,  meant 

To  shield  him  from  insanity  or  shame. 
Such  shall  be  his  meet  guerdon !  who  was  sent 

To  be  Christ's  Laureate — they  reward  him  well ! 

Florence  dooms  me  but  death  or  banishment, 
Ferrara  him  a  pittance  and  a  cell. 

Harder  to  bear  and  less  deserved,  for  I  140 

Had  stung  the  factions  which  I  strove  to  quell ; 
But  this  meek  man,  who  with  a  lover's  eye 

Will  look  on  earth  and  heaven,  and  who  will  deign 

To  embalm  with  his  celestial  flattery 
As  poor  a  thing  as  e'er  was  spawn'd  to  reign, 

Wliat  will  he  do  to  merit  such  a  doom  ? 

Perhaps  he'll  love, — and  is  not  love  in  vain 

Canto  3.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  «48 

Torture  enough  without  a  living  tomb  ? 
Yet  it  will  be  so — he  and  his  compeer, 
The  Bard  of  Chivalry,  will  both  consume  150 

In  penury  and  pain  too  many  a  year. 
And,  dying  in  despondency,  bequeath 
To  the  kind  world,  which  scarce  will  yield  a  tear, 

A  heritage  enriching  all  who  breathe 
With  the  wealth  of  a  genuine  poet's  soul. 
And  to  their  country  a  redoubled  wreath, 

Unmatch'd  by  time ;  not  Hellas  can  unroll 

Through  her  olympiads  two  such  names,  though  one 
Of  hers  be  mighty ; — and  is  this  the  whole 

Of  such  men's  destiny  beneath  the  sun  ?  160 

Must  all  the  finer  thoughts,  the  thrilling  sense. 
The  electric  blood  with  which  their  arteries  run, 

Their  body's  self  tum'd  soul  with  the  intense 
Feeling  of  that  which  is,  and  fancy  of 
That  which  should  be,  to  such  a  recompense 

Conduct  ?  shall  their  bright  plumage  on  the  rough 
Storm  be  still  scatter'd  ?  Yes,  and  it  must  be, 


244  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  3. 

For,  fonn'd  of  far  too  penetrable  stuff, 

These  birds  of  Paradise  but  long  to  flee 

Back  to  their  native  mansion,  soon  they  find  170 

Earth's  mist  with  their  pure  pinions  not  agree, 

And  die  or  are  degraded,  for  the  mind 
Succumbs  to  long  infection,  and  despair. 
And  vulture  passions  flying  close  behind, 

Await  the  moment  to  assail  and  tear ; 
And  when  at  length  the  winged  wanderers  stoop, 
Then  is  the  prey-bird's  triumph,  then  they  share 

The  spoil,  o'erpower'd  at  length  by  one  fell  swoop. 
Yet  some  have  been  untouch'd,  who  learn'd  to  bear. 
Some  whom  no  power  could  ever  force  to  droop. 

Who  could  resist  themselves  even,  hardest  care  !       181 
And  task  most  hopeless ;  but  some  such  have  been, 
And  if  my  name  amongst  the  number  were, 

That  destiny  austere,  and  yet  serene. 

Were  prouder  than  more  dazzling  fame  unblest ; 
The  Alp's  snow  summit  nearer  heaven  is  seen 

Than  the  volcano's  fierce  eruptive  crest. 

Canto  3.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  245 

Whose  splendour  from  the  black  abyss  is  flung, 
While  the  scorch'd  mountain,  from  whose  burning 

A  temporary  torturing  flame  is  wrung,  190 

Shines  for  a  night  of  terror,  then  repels 
Its  fire  back  to  the  hell  from  whence  it  sprung, 

The  hell  which  in  its  entrails  ever  dwells. 




Many  are  poets  who  have  never  penn'd 
Their  inspiration,  and  perchance  the  best : 
They  felt,  and  loved,  and  died,  but  would  not  lend 

Their  thoughts  to  meaner  beings ;  they  compress'd 
The  god  within  them,  and  rejoin'd  the  stars 
UnlaureU'd  upon  earth,  but  far  more  blest 

Than  those  who  are  degraded  by  the  jars 
Of  passion,  and  their  frailties  link'd  to  fame. 
Conquerors  of  high  renown,  but  full  of  scars. 

Many  are  poets  but  without  the  name,  10 

248  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  4. 

For  what  is  poesy  but  to  create 

From  overfeeling  good  or  ill ;  and  aim 
At  an  external  life  beyond  our  fate, 

And  be  the  new  Prometheus  of  new  men, 

Bestowing  fire  from  heaven,  and  then,  too  late. 
Finding  the  pleasure  given  repaid  with  pain. 

And  vultures  to  the  heart  of  the  bestower. 

Who,  having  lavish'd  his  high  gijft  in  vain, 
Lies  chain'd  to  his  lone  rock  by  the  sea-shore  ? 

So  be  it :  we  can  bear. — But  thus  all  they,  2C 

Whose  intellect  is  an  overmastering  power 
Which  still  recoils  from  its  encumbering  clay 

Or  lightens  it  to  spirit,  whatsoe'er 

The  form  which  their  creations  may  essay. 
Are  bards ;  the  kindled  marble's  bust  may  wear 

More  poesy  upon  its  speaking  brow 

Than  aught  less  than  the  Homeric  page  may  bear ; 
One  noble  stroke  with  a  whole  life  may  glow. 

Or  deify  the  canvas  till  it  shine 

Cakto  4.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  240 

With  beauty  so  surpassing  all  below,  SO 

That  they  who  kneel  to  idols  so  divine 

Break  no  commandment,  for  high  heaven  is  there 

Transfused,  transfigurated :  and  the  Une 
Of  poesy,  which  peoples  but  the  air  ^ 

With  thought  and  beings  of  our  thought  reflected. 

Can  do  no  more :  then  let  the  artist  share 
The  palm,  he  shares  the  peril,  and  dejected 

Faints  o'er  the  labour  unapproved — Alas ! 

Despair  and  Genius  are  too  oft  connected. 
Withm  the  ages  which  before  me  pass  40 

Art  shall  resume  and  equal  even  the  sway 

Which  with  Apelles  and  old  Phidias 
She  held  in  Hellas'  unforgotten  day. 

Ye  shall  be  taught  by  Ruin  to  revive 

The  Grecian  forms  at  least  from  their  decay, 
And  Roman  souls  at  last  again  shall  live 

In  Roman  works  wrought  by  Italian  hands. 

And  temples,  loftier  than  the  old  temples,  give 

250  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  4. 

New  wonders  to  the  world ;  and  while  still  stands 
The  austere  Pantheon,  into  heaven  shall  soar  50 

A  dome,  (^2)  its  image,  while  the  base  expands 

Into  a  fane  siu'passing  all  before,  ^ 

Such  as  all  flesh  shall  flock  to  kneel  in :  ne'er 
Such  sight  hath  been  unfolded  by  a  door 

As  this,  to  which  all  nations  shall  repair 

And  lay  their  sins  at  this  huge  gate  of  heaven. 
And  the  bold  Architect  unto  whose  care 

The  daring  charge  to  raise  it  shall  be  given. 
Whom  all  arts  shall  acknowledge  as  their  lord. 
Whether  into  the  marble  chaos  driven  60 

His  chisel  bid  the  Hebrew,  (13)  at  whose  word 
Israel  left  Egypt,  stop  the  waves  in  stone. 
Or  hues  of  hell  be  by  his  pencil  pour'd 

Over  the  damn'd  before  the  Judgment  throne,  (14) 
Such  as  I  saw  them,  such  as  all  shall  see. 
Or  fanes  be  built  of  grandeur  yet  unknown. 

The  stream  of  his  great  thoughts  shall  spring  from  me,  (i^) 

Canto  4.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  251 

The  Ghibelline,  who  traversed  the  three  realms 

Wliich  form  the  empire  of  eternity. 
Amidst  the  clash  of  swords,  and  clang  of  helms,         70 

The  age  which  I  anticipate,  no  less 

Shall  be  the  Age  of  Beauty,  and  while  whelms 
Calamity  the  nations  with  distress, 

The  genius  of  my  country  shall  arise, 

A  Cedar  towering  o'er  the  Wilderness, 
Lovely  in  all  its  branches  to  all  eyes. 

Fragrant  as  fair,  and  recognized  afar, 

Wafting  its  native  incense  through  the  skies. 
Sovereigns  shall  pause  amidst  their  sport  of  war, 

Wean'd  for  an  hour  from  blood,  to  turn  and  gaze  80 

On  canvas  or  on  stone  j  and  they  who  mar 
All  beauty  upon  earth,  compell'd  to  praise. 

Shall  feel  the  power  of  that  which  they  destroy ; 

And  Art's  mistaken  gratitude  shall  raise 
To  tyrants  who  but  take  her  for  a  toy 

Emblems  and  monuments,  and  prostitute 

Her  charms  to  pontifls  proud,  (is)  who  but  employ 

252  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  4. 

The  man  of  genius  as  the  meanest  brute 
To  bear  a  burthen,  and  to  serve  a  need, 
To  sell  his  labours,  and  his  soul  to  boot :  90 

Who  toils  for  nations  may  be  poor  indeed 

But  free ;  who  sweats  for  monarchs  is  no  more 
Than  the  gilt  chamberlain,  who,  clothed  and  fee'd, 

Stands  sleek  and  slavish,  bowing  at  his  door. 
Oh,  Power  that  rulest  and  inspirest !  how 
Is  it  that  they  on  earth,  whose  earthly  power 

Is  likest  thine  in  heaven  in  outward  show, 
Least  like  to  thee  in  attributes  divine, 
Tread  on  the  universal  necks  that  bow, 

And  then  assure  us  that  their  rights  are  thine  ?         100 
And  how  is  it  that  they,  the  sons  of  fame, 
Whose  inspiration  seems  to  them  to  shine 

From  high,  they  whom  the  nations  oftest  name, 
Must  pass  their  days  in  penury  or  pain, 
Or  step  to  grandeur  through  the  paths  of  shame, 

And  wear  a  deeper  brand,  and  gaudier  chain  ? 
Or  if  their  destiny  be  born  aloof 

Canto  4.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  25i3 

From  lowliness,  or  tempted  thence  in  vain, 
In  their  own  souls  sustain  a  harder  proof, 

The  inner  war  of  passions  deep  and  fierce  ?  110 

Florence !  when  thy  harsh  sentence  razed  my  roof, 
I  loved  thee ;  but  the  vengeance  of  my  verse, 

The  hate  of  injuries  which  every  year 

Makes  greater,  and  accumulates  my  curse, 
Shall  live,  outliving  all  thou  holdest  dear, 

Thy  pride,  thy  wealth,  thy  freedom,  and  even  tliaty 

The  most  infernal  of  all  evils  here. 
The  sway  of  petty  tyrants  in  a  state ; 

For  such  sway  is  not  limited  to  kings, 

And  demagogues  yield  to  them  but  in  date  120 

As  swept  off  sooner ;  in  all  deadly  things 

Which  make  men  hate  themselves,  and  one  another, 

In  discord,  cowardice,  cruelty,  all  that  springs 
From  Death  the  Sin-born's  incest  with  his  mother, 

In  rank  oppression  in  its  rudest  shape. 

The  faction  Chief  is  but  the  Sultan's  brother. 
And  the  worst  despot's  far  less  human  ape ; 

254  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  Canto  4. 

Florence !  when  this  lone  spirit,  which  so  long 

Yearn'd,  as  the  captive  toiling  at  escape, 
To  fly  back  to  thee  in  despite  of  wrong,  130 

An  exile,  saddest  of  all  prisoners. 

Who  has  the  whole  world  for  a  dimgeon  strong. 
Seas,  mountains,  and  the  horizon's  verge  for  bars. 

Which  shut  him  from  the  sole  small  spot  of  earth 

Where — whatsoe'er  his  fate — he  still  were  hers. 
His  country's,  and  might  die  where  he  had  birth — 

Florence !  when  this  lone  spirit  shall  return 

To  kindred  spirits,  thou  wilt  feel  my  worth. 
And  seek  to  honour  with  an  empty  urn 

The  ashes  thou  shalt  ne'er  obtain — Alas !  140 

"What  have  I  done  to  thee,  my  people?"  (17)  Stern 
Are  all  thy  dealings,  but  in  this  they  pass 

The  limits  of  man's  common  maHce,  for 

All  that  a  citizen  could  be  I  was ; 
Raised  by  thy  will,  all  thine  in  peace  or  war. 

And  for  this  thou  hast  warr'd  with  me. — 'Tis  done : 

I  may  not  overleap  the  eternal  bar 

Canto  4.  PROPHECY  OF  DANTE.  255 

Built  up  between  us,  and  will  die  alone, 

Beholding,  with  the  dark  eye  of  a  seer. 

The  evil  days  to  gifted  souls  foreshown,  150 

Foretelling  them  to  those  who  will  not  hear. 

As  in  the  old  time,  till  the  hour  be  come 

When  Truth  shall  strike  their  eyes  through  many  a  tear, 
And  make  them  own  the  Prophet  in  his  tomb. 




Note  1,  page  217*  line  11. 

Midst  xvhom  my  own  bright  Beatrice  bless  d. 
The  reader  is  requested  to  adopt  the  Italian  pronunciation 
of  Beatrice,  sounding  all  the  syllables. 

Note  %  page  218,  line  15. 
My  Paradise  had  still  been  incomplete, 

"  Che  sol  per  le  belle  opre 

"  Che  fanno  in  Cielo  il  sole  e  1*  altre  stelle 

"  Dentro  di  lui  si  crede  il  Paradiso, 

"  Cos!  se  guardi  fiso 

"  Pensar  ben  dei  ch'  ogni  terren'  piacere. 

Canzone,  in  which  Dante  describes  the  person  of  Beatrice, 
Strophe  third. 

Note  3,  page  220,  line  7. 
/  ivould  have  had  my  Florence  great  and  free, 

"  L'  Esilio  che  m'  e  dato  onor  mi  tegno. 

*  *  *  *  * 

"  Cader  tra'  buoni  e  pur  di  lode  degno." 

Sonnet  ofDantCt 
in  which  he  represents  Right,  Generosity,  and  Temperance 
as  banished  from  among  men,  and  seeking  refuge  from  Love, 
who  inhabits  his  bosom. 

g58  NOTES  TO  THE 

Note  4,  page  2*21,  line  3. 
The  dust  she  dooms  to  scatter* 
*'  Ut  si  quis  predictorum  ullo  tempore  in  fortiam  dicti  com- 
munis pervenerit,  talis  perveniens  igne  comburatur,  sic  quod 

Second  sentence  of  Florence  against  Dante,  and  the  fourteen 
accused  with  him. — The  Latin  is  worthy  of  the  sentence. 

Note  5,  page  225,  last  line. 
Where  yet  my  boys  are,  and  that  fatal  she. 
This  lady,  whose  name  was  Gemma,  sprung  from  one  of 
the  most  powerful  Guelf  families,  named  Donati.  Corso 
Donati  was  the  principal  adversary  of  the  Ghibellines.  She 
is  described  as  being  *'  Admodum  morosa,  ut  de  Xantippe 
Socratis  philosophi  conjuge  scriptum  esse  legimus"  according 
to  Giannozzo  Manetti.  But  Lionardo  Aretino  is  scandalized 
with  Boccace,  in  his  life  of  Dante,  for  saying  that  literary  men 
should  not  marry.  "  Qui  il  Boccaccio  non  ha  pazienza,  e 
dice,  le  mogli  esser  contrarie  agli  studj  j  e  non  si  ricorda  che 
Socrate  il  piu  nobile  filosofo  che  mai  fusse  ebbe  moglie, 
e  figliuoli  e  uffici  della  Repubblica  mella  sua  Citta ;  e  Aris- 
totele  che,  &c.  &c.  ebbe  due  mogli  in  varj  tempi,  ed  ebbe 
figliuoli,  e  ricchezze  assai. — E  Marco  Tullio — e  Catone — 
e  Varrone,  e  Seneca— ebbero  moglie,"  &c.  &c.  It  is  odd  that 
honest  Lionardo's  examples,  with  the  exception  of  Seneca, 
and,  for  any  thing  I  know,  of  Aristotle,  are  not  the  most 
felicitous.  TuUy's  Terentia,  and  Socrates'  Xantippe,  by  no 
means  contributed  to  their  husbands*  happiness,  whatever 
they  might  do  to  their  philosophy — Cato  gave  away  his  wife 
— of  Varro's  we  know  nothing — and  of  Seneca's,  only  that 
she  was  disposed  to  die  with  him,  but  recovered,  and  lived 


several  years  afterwards.  But,  says  Lionardo,  "  L*  uoino  ^ 
aiiimale  civile,  secondo  place  a  tutti  i  filosofi."  And  thence 
concludes  that  the  greatest  proof  of  the  animafs  cixusm  is 
**  la  prima  congiunzione,  dalla  quale  multiplicata  nasce  la 

Note  6,  page  231,  line  19. 
Nine  moons  shall  rise  o'er  scenes  like  this  and  set. 
See  **  Sacco  di  Roma,"  generally  attributed  taGuicciardini. 
There  is  another  written  by  a  Jacopo  Buonaparte,  Gentiluomo 
Samminiatese  che  vi  si  trovo  presente. 

Note  7,  page  237>  line  17. 
Conquerors  on  foreign  shores^  and  the  far  wave. 
Alexander  of  Parma,  Spinola,  Pescara,  Eugene  of  Savoy, 

Note  8,  page  237,  line  18. 
Discoverers  of  new  worlds,  which  take  their  name, 
Columbus,  Americus  Vespusius,  Sebastian  Cabot. 

Note  9,  page  239,  line  13. 
He  who  once  enters  in  a  tyrant's  hall,  Sfc, 
A  verse  from  the  Greek  tragedians,  with  which  Ponipey 
took  leave  of  Cornelia  on  entering  the  boat  in  which  he  was 

Note  10,  page  239,  line  16. 
And  thejirst  day  which  sees  the  chain  enthral,  SfC, 
The  verse  and  sentiment  are  taken  from  Homer. 

*>(J0  NOTES  TO  THE 

Note  11,  page  240,  line  13. 
And  hct  their  prince)  shall  rank  among  my  peers* 

Note  12,  page  250,  line  3. 
A  domey  its  image. 
The  cupola  of  St.  Peter's. 

Note  13,  page  250,  line  13. 
His  chisel  bid  the  Hebrew. 
The  statue  of  Moses  on  the  monument  of  Julius  II. 

Di  Giovanni  Battista  Zappi. 

Chi  h  costui,  che  in  dura  pietra  scolto, 
Siede  gigante  3  e  le  piii  illustre,  e  conte 
Prove  dell'  arte  avvanza,  e  ha  vive,  e  pronte 
Le  labbia  si,  che  le  parole  ascolto  ? 

Quest'  e  Mose  j  ben  me'l  diceva  il  folto 

Onor  del  mento,  e'  1  doppio  raggio  in  fronte. 
Quest'  eMose,  quando  scendea  del  monte, 
E  gran  parte  del  Nume  avea  nel  volto. 

Tal  era  allor,  che  le  sonanti,  e  vaste 
Acque  ei  sospese  a  se  d'  intorno,  e  tale 
Quando  il  mar  chiuse,  e  ne  fe  tomba  altrui. 

E  voi  sue  turbe  un  rio  vitello  alzate  ? 
Alzata  aveste  imago  a  questa  eguale  ! 
Ch'  era  men  fallo  Y  adorar  costui. 


Note  14,  page  250,  line  16. 
Over  the  damiid  before  the  Judgment  throne. 
The  Last  Judgment  in  the  Sistine  chapel. 

Note  15,  page  250,  last  line. 

The  stream  of  his  great  thoughts  shall  spring  from  me. 

I  have  read  somewhere  (if  I  do  not  err,  for  I  cannot  recol- 
lect where)  that  Dante  was  so  great  a  favourite  of  Michel 
Angiolo's,  that  he  had  designed  the  whole  of  the  Divina 
Commedia  j  but  that  the  voliune  containing  these  studies  was 
lost  by  sea.  ♦ 

Note  16,  page  251,  last  line. 

Her  charms  to  pontiffs  proud,  who  but  employ,  Sfc, 

See  the  treatment  of  Michel  Angiolo  by  Julius  II.,  and  his 
neglect  by  Leo  X. 

Note  17>  page  254,  line  14. 

"  What  have  I  done  to  thee,  my  people  f" 

"  E  scrisse  piii  volte  non  solamente  a  particular!  cittadin 
del  reggimento,  ma  ancora  al  popolo,  e  intra  1'  altre  un 
Epistola  assai  lunga  che  comincia : — '  Popule  mi,  quid  feci 

Vita  di  Dante  scritta  da  Lionardo  Aretino. 

TUK   F.ND. 





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